Bullet journal

As I mentioned in a previous post I have started a bullet journal. I found this through Emilia's instagram and found it fascinating, I feel that my life at this current stage is lacking in creativity and thought that this might be a good idea to invite a different creative headspace into my life. And I was right.

It's a great way for me to keep the creativeness flowing while simultaneously getting some structure in my life. I find it absolutely amazing and I have already spent far too much time and money on this. 

I am in no way talented with a pen but learning is half the fun, and mistakes are a part of life and I do not shy away from a challenge. I will keep you in the loop with my bullet journaling and hopefully inspire some of you.

I am not ashamed of my illness

I usually have an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, and a hesitant thought in the back of my mind when I'm meeting someone new. "Maybe I shouldn't tell them that I'm sick."

Now anyone who knows me, or reads this blog, knows that I am chronically ill with an autoimmune illness called Lupus. I've only got properly diagnosed a year and a half ago, after suffering from several symptoms for two months. (This however is still considered a quick diagnosis.)

I've come to realise that telling people that I'm sick makes them very uncomfortable, they either don't like the fact that they don't know anything about it, the fact that I don't look sick according to their standards, or they just simple don't know what to do with me after the fact. I understand their point of view, first of I was very uneducated in the topic of chronic illnesses before I became sick - because why should I know? I had been completely healthy my entire life and didn't see that changing at any point. But it did, I will never be 100% healthy again. (That statement apparently makes everyone but me uncomfortable..) I have come to accept this, and I am not ashamed of this fact, I just have to learn to live with it. 

It's an ongoing process, I have yet to actually 100% come to terms with this fact. I still fight a battle every day about what I can and can't do with my body. I have learned to listen to it better, but I'm a very stubborn person. I don't like to give up. A perfect example of this was a moment during my three weeks in hospital the summer of 2015. I had just gotten accepted to the photography school I am currently attending, I had fixed everything with accommodation and student finances before I got admitted to the hospital. Two weeks or so in to my stay and my father suggests we put off school for a year, as I would need time to heal and process the whole "sick for life" thing. I told him in no uncertain terms that if we did that then I would most certainly die in that hospital bed, for I would have nothing to look forward to and fight for. So, we didn't. I went to school just a month after my release and finished my chemo while starting my studies. It was the best decision I ever made.

But since i got out of hospital I've obviously have had to tell a lot of people that I'm sick. The school, my peers, when I applied for internships etc. It's a hard thing to do, because this is where that uneasy feeling and hesitant thought come in to play, what if they don't accept me based solely on the fact that I'm sick? I've found that it's quite a hard subject to broach because nobody ever asks you if you're sick, because most people don't realise you could be. My mother had to make the call to my school as I was too uneasy about it since it was so new, I then got telling my classmates about it out of the way when we had to present a self portrait on the first day of school and tell the class something about yourself.

Then came the internship interviews, and man was that hard. Because I am obviously weaker than my classmates, as my body continuously works against me every second of the day, and as a photography intern you have to do a lot of carrying. I feel very nervous every single time I tell someone about this, especially if something big is at stake. Say, an internship, a job or a relationship. I have yet to actually get so close to somebody to want to tell them about my illness but I would imagine that it will be hard as well.

Currently the time has come to start applying for assistant jobs and I'm not quite sure how to tell people about this, yet again. But I've decided that I am not going to be made into feeling ashamed or less for being ill. I am exactly as capable as anyone else to pursue this dream of mine, illness or not. I might have to fight harder, but just as capable nonetheless. I am tired of feeling like I can't talk about this, to people or on here - because people might view you as less. Well I am not, if anything I am more. I have had to fight my ass off to even be able to live, let alone pursue my biggest dream.

I don't want to have to hide such a big part of me just to be accepted, so I won't. From this day on I will be completely honest about that part of my life, because it affects every aspect of it. If you want me, want all of me. I will not be hiding my illness from anybody, and if you have a problem with that then well, fuck off.

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Not taking anyone's shit, or giving a fuck, in hospital featuring my most flattering angles.
Photo 1, 2, 6, 8 & 9 courtesy of my mother.

LDN 07.2016

The best thing about England is the fact that is where my soulmate was born.

Helen is the most amazing human to ever grace this earth with her presence. The fact that I only get to see her a few times a year is overshadowed by the amount of fun we have when we do see each other. 

So enjoy this post which is basically just a bunch of photos.

Johannes and I arrived in London on the Saturday and just ate dinner and slept, on the Sunday we went out and explored a bit on our own and then we met up Helen! We went to eat Nandos and just wandered around London and sat in Leicester Square. (Helen also gave me my birthday present - she made me the Map of Paris!!! That's the necklace that Esmeralda gave Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, my fave Disney film)

And I obviously couldn't visit London and not see two of my favourite people Elli and Boots. Fantastic people that always get me smiling.

And when Elli and Boots happen gin and tequila happen, always. And when that happens an overload of selfies and playing with my camera happens. See above and below.

But I am so privileged to have been able to spend time with four of my favourite people within the 6 days I spent in my favourite city, and for the fact that I have these people in my life. They all make my heart swell with such love, it truly is a pity that three of them live across an ocean from me and the fourth lives 6 hours away by train. But when we do get together, it's golden.

AND THEN HARRY POTTER TOURS HAPPENED!

I cannot tell you how long I've waited to go there, it was the most special experience of my life so far. I swear my heart was going to burst out of my chest at any given moment.

So we got there, and Helen mentioned that we were there as a birthday thing for me and I got a 'star of the day' pin and I GOT TO OPEN THE DOORS TO THE GREAT HALL. CAN YOU SEE MY EXCITEMENT!?

I cannot tell you how many times I cried, and how amazing it felt to walk around that place. I could live there, it felt exactly like coming home.

Most of the photos are of me, but that's because Helen took my camera and decided she was taking all the photos that day. So enjoy.

Like a fucking child on christmas I tell you
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"I am not not going home, not really." - Harry Potter

Another thing we did in London was go to a comedy show, another birthday thing. Helen bought tickets for us to go see my favourite comedian, Russell Howard(!!!!) at a show in Camden where he tried out new material for his arena tour in 2017.

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Best comedian out there, no competition

We had another day where we just spent time together, Helen, Johannes and I. Walking around London, eating food and laughing our arses off. It was probably the best time I've had in London, and every time I go it gets harder to leave. 

I will see you again London, hopefully very soon.