Expectation vs Reality

Hi! It has been a long time.

I can’t remember which book it was, but I read somewhere that alot of our stress comes from a difference between expectation and reality. We expect for something to happen or for someone to behave in a particular way. When it doesnt meet that expectation we are left disappointed and stressed.

So the other day I went met up with a guy I was really interested in. We had been on a few dates and made out quite a bit. Thinking that it would be the same after months of not talking and now back in contact with one another I had expectations about what would happen. Lets just say that when we met up again it was nothing like I had hoped. I could have honestly have turned up in a black bag and I dont think he would have cared. (Well actually I dont think I could have lol. What I wore made me feel amazing and felt super pretty) I know it was silly of me to think things would have picked up as before but I did. Although the conversation was constantly flowing and we were joking around alot, I had a strong sense that I had been put into the ‘lovely’ corner that is the friendzone. Through out the night he would constantly check his phone and before we had paid for the bill he had already spoke aloud that he would get home for 10:30pm to give left over take away to his flatmate. It was only 10:00pm and I was still sitting in front of him.

Ok venting over.

I felt disappointed afterwards. I wanted and expected it to be different.

Now I’m not saying that we shouldnt have expectations. Its completely normal for us to wish for something to play out the way we want it to. What I am saying is that we should either be okay if reality does not pair with our expectation or not put too much importance into the expecation becoming reality and be accepting of whatever the result is. Before anyone comments, this is just my opinion for reducing stress because the stress we feel is from the disappointment from the difference.  After my initial disappointment I came to realise that I needed that night out with him to actually realise that the version of him I had in my mind wasnt who he really was. I got to dress up and feel pretty after a hard day at work. I got to have a few drinks. I got my little bit of closure and put him behind me.

Look beyond the disappointment, the stress and the negative experiences that we get and see what you can learn from it.

Ramble over!

Looking back with fresh eyes

Today, in an attempt to find inspiration I decided on visiting the Tate modern.  I figured that looking at the different styles would help me get over my little drawers block. Wondering around the different galleries I came across Dali’s painting, Metamorphosis of Narcissus. The painting seen attached was painted in 1937. The piece is based on the story of Narcissus. A man so proud of his look that when he saw his own reflection in a pool of water, he was unable to tear himself away. He eventually died.   In a version of the story, Narcissus the man died and became a flower. The word narcissism is said to originate from this.

Dali’s painting depicts Narcissus sitting (on the left) by a pool of water. Reflected on the right is a stone hand holding an egg. The stone hand closely resembles the shape of Narcissus’ body. Hatching out of the egg is a small daffodil, also known in the plant world as a Narcissus.

I was very intrigued. I mean, to understand the thought behind a painting brings out the true beauty of the painting. Well, that’s my opinion.  We are able to appreciate more the details of the painter’s creation. Only after a little while of standing there, acting like  I was very knowledgeable, I realised that  I had seen the painting years ago. Well more than 10 years ago, when I was doing my GCSE art project. I even re-created in my little sketchbook. At the time, I had no idea what it was called or what Dali was trying to depict. I don’t remember what my own interpretation of the painting was but I know it was nowhere close to what I described above. I simply took it as I saw it. A surreal painting. I was intrigued by it just as much as I was today. It made me think that sometimes it’s not bad to look back on our past.

Sometimes we come across something from our past and are able to approach it in a different way. Have a new appreciation for it. As we gain more experiences, more knowledgeable and more open-minded our outlook on everything around us changes.  We shouldn’t criticize our past selves or judge them. I admit the first thought that crossed my mind was that my silly 16-year-old self-didn’t care much about this stuff but always acted like I had an artistic taste. My second thought was that of joy, that I was able to gain a new perspective. I shouldn’t judge the past me but enjoy the current me. I know, this may seem a bit far-fetch for anyone reading this, but I am being honest about the thoughts that crossed my mind at the time.


Looking for signs not symptoms

Through past experiences I have come to believe that we are constantly shown signs on which direction to proceed in. Now it is up to us to decide whether we wish to proceed forward with the sign in mind or turn a blind eye to them.

I am writing this blog post whilst sitting in Hong Kong airport, awaiting my next flight. So this blog will be short.

Now these signs can be in the form of someone simply saying something in passing, an opportunity placed before us or literally a sign (I mean a full on billboard sign). Sometimes I will be thinking about something, a way to improve myself. Someway to change up my life and make it a bit more exciting. It is then that I would come across something, previously I would have thought it was a coincidence, now I see them as a sign.

Sorry I may be rambling, I did just get off a 13hour flight. I am in the process of ticking off something on my buckets. Solo trip to a foreign country where english is not the main language and visit Japan. So i guess two things on my bucket list. The past few months leading up to this date I wanted to make my life seem more interesting.

Im going off topic. Normally I am he most antisocial person on the plane. Im not great at talking to strangers sitting next to me. I just want to watch as many movies as possible. Today, the man next to me just kept talking to me about his work before we took off. He has a diving instructor school in the Philippines.

It was interesting to hear about his travels and interest in diving abroad. He went on to list some instructing school in England. I suddenly had the urge to sign up for classes once i got back to England. It wasn’t just a spontaneous whim. I choose to take it as a sign as I had been looking for something new to do. If i had done my usual behaviour of trying to politely nod whilst subtly insert my headphones in I would not have come this thought. I mean I did revert back to my old self afterwards, to which I was glad of. Things got a bit unpleasant when both that passenger and his friend, who i feel i must mention are 50 year olds started to try and direct their farts towards one another. >.<

Anyway, I need to make my way to my next plane. I hope to post about diving classes in the future. Until then, look for the signs.

Let’s go climb a mountain….

A few years back, my friends and I decided to climb Mount Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. With little previous experience, I packed my bag with water, snacks, extra clothes and a mini headlamp. I was so excited and nervous at the same time. Why nervous? Well, that was because just as I was about to climb the guide mentioned that Asthmatics and people with medical conditions should take care as there was a history of deaths related to medical complications. Now I am an asthmatic who takes steroid inhalers and I have had open heart surgery when I was little. A moment of panic came across me and I started to doubt myself and my abilities. Maybe I’m not suited for this? This was years before I started meditating again and smack bang in the middle of my pessimistic phase but a little drive inside of me gave me the little push. The thoughts passed and I felt like I would regret not doing it. Nothing will happen!

We trekked 6Km on the first day to the rest stop at  Laban Rata and I was in love with the whole experience. Climbing higher and higher, I started to feel more invigorated. It was truly a great experience. The path changed from smooth slopes to uneven steps. The view was amazing each step higher I got. slowly creeping up above clouds.

At the rest stop, we were welcomed to a buffet to stock up for the next day. People from all around the world had come there to wait until the next morning before starting the last bit of the trek to the peak just in time for the sunrise.

At the time of our stay, there was no heating or hot water. I remember sleeping in my hoodie with leggings under my tracksuit bottoms and a wooly hat on my head. I so could have done with a boyfriend at the time. I could have used him as a hot water bottle and kept myself warm.

We were lucky because a few days before we ran into someone at the hotel and he had suggested we get altitude sickness tablets. I understand that this is probably obvious to those who frequently climb mountains, but to newbies, this was not a concept we had considered.  We were lucky compared to many others at the rest stop because next morning quite a few of the trekkers had to terminate their adventure at the hands of altitude sickness.

Early morning we set off again. headlamps strapped to our heads we climbed the mountain. We had reached the last rest point at 7km when a few of the guides started smoking. Within a few minutes, my dear little asthma kicked in. I could feel my chest tighten and I felt like I was wheezing. I decided to not continue and told my friends to go on ahead of me. I mean, how could I continue at this rate. Cigarettes have always been one of my biggest triggers. The inhalers had no effect. I know it was a wise decision but I was absolutely gutted. Trekked 7km out of a total 8.2km and I couldn’t do the last 1.2km. I did get to see a pretty amazing sunrise and made friends with a few other people that couldn’t climb further.

At the time I was very disappointed. It felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything just because I didn’t complete the last 1.2km.  I was so focused on the 1.2km rather than the 7km I had climbed. Only years later I realised that was wrong. Had I  given up at the start of the trek, maybe then I could say I hadn’t achieved anything. I learned more about my self, met new people and had climbed to an altitude greater than 3,000Km. I got to see amazing views and I learned that I should appreciate every experience more.

Life lesson to self: try to look at the positive more otherwise the perception of what you see/ experience can be greatly skewed towards the negative and that will be all that you will see. The perceptive can greatly affect the experience.

Book review: Lost Boy by Christina Henry. A twisted take on a classic fairy tale

When browsing the shelves in Waterstones over the weekend,  I came across this little book.  I was drawn to the cover art and decided to read the few pages. I found it to be interesting and so I bought it along with a book about Alice in Wonderland by the same author. (It shall be my next read).  I finished the book within two days and decided I wanted to write a review about it.  It is a twisted and darker take on Peter Pan.  Lost Boy by Christina Henry tells the story through the eyes of the lost boy, Jamie and his account of what really happened on the Island of Neverland.  One where Peter is not the good guy we grew up knowing.  For the classic tale is what Peter wants you to believe but as Jamies says ‘Peter Lies’. The story of how the infamous Captain Hook came to be and how maybe, just maybe we mistook him for the bad guy.

Through the author’s imagery, the once beautiful land of Neverland is slowly transformed into a terrible prison. Peter and the lost boys enjoy bloody games of pirate raids and battles where the death of either party is like to happen.

Peter in this story is arrogant, selfish, reckless and has a thirst for blood. Follow his rules or suffer the consequences. Quick to argue, quick to start a fight, quick to find more lost boys to replace the dead old ones and quicker to remove those that get in his way.  Peter wants all the Lost boys to love him, but he wants our protagonist Jamie to care for him the most. For Jamie is meant to be his best friend.

Jamie is the original lost boy, who followed Peter to Neverland listening to Peter’s lies. Initially, the lies cast a mist over Jamie’s eyes and he is unable to see Peter for who he really is.  As the story progresses the mist begins to fade.  Jamie’s development over the story is gradual and well thought out. He morphs from Peter’s number one lost boy into his Enemy.

Henry’s depiction of the classic tale retold will definitely change your opinion of Peter Pan. I warn those not ready to let go of their childhood to be prepared.

An excellent read.


An interest in history

Last weekend, I went to the National History Museum in London with a friend. I hadn’t been there in more than 10 years and had forgotten how interesting a place it was. Though Dippy the dinosaur was not there to greet us at the entrance, it was great seeing the blue whale skeleton suspended above in the Hintze Hall. I should explain to those, not from  London, Dippy is the Diplodocus skeleton cast that has been present in the museum since 1905.

I never realized that a blue whale does not actually have a skull. From what I could see it’s skull comprised of just two bones. The part that supports the fins hand long finger-like bones. From the tip of the mandible to the end of it’s tail, this not so little beauty is 25 meters long and hangs above many of the other star exhibits.

There were so many exhibits to see that I was lost in the museum for over 2 hours. From the 1000+-year-old enormous tree stump to the American mastodon. Other interesting exhibits included the dinosaur exhibit, the Attenborough studio, and the human biology section. I would definitely recommend a visit to the museum for those interested in a bit of history. Entrance is free and you are free to wander at your own pace.

I loved history when I was little. Trying to find out a bit more about the past. My favourite time periods: Ancient Greeks/ Eygptians, Tudor monarchy and Victorian.  Even in fictional books and movies, I am fond of the plots where the story has a past somehow linked to the present. The events of the past are what brought the future into being.

When I was little, I dreamed of being an archeologist. I was about 8 years old, sitting in my bedroom with a book about dinosaurs. Simply amazing that these powerful and wonderful creatures had once roamed the earth. On the last page, there was a map of the world depicting all of the places fossils had been found.  I was so sad because as a naive 8-year old I had convinced myself that all of the fossils had been found. There were none left for me to find. Thus the end of my eight-year-old self’s dream.


First book review: Night Angel trilogy

One thing I am passionate about is reading. I spend at least 45min+ in Waterstones. I buy at 2 books at a time, in case I finish one before I can get another one. I’ve either got a book or my kindle in my bag.

Now my bookshelf varies in genre. My favorite is fantasy fiction. I love the way an author can create worlds that do not abide by our laws of physics and nature. If they wanted to create a new form of magic (like in Mistborn series, which I will discuss in a later post) they can. Fantasy creatures like dragons could soar a sky, Elves roam the forest and magicians could travel to other dimensions. I have started to spread out into other genres such as crime, thrillers, romantic comedies, Horror, and sci-fi.

I have started to spread out into other genres such as crime, thrillers, romantic comedies, Horror, and sci-fi.

One day… I dream to have a room with wall to wall and floor to ceiling bookcases in my future home. Haaaaa…. one day!

Let us start with my first book recommendation, The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. It is my absolute favorite. I was mesmerized from book one and even named my dog after the main character. The story is about a young orphan name Azoth who lives in the slums. Daily life is a struggle living under the thumb of a twisted man along with many other orphans.  Azoth manages to convince Durzo, a legendary assassin into accepting him as an apprentice and eventually changes his name to Kylar. He develops into a somewhat anti-hero. His actions are based on what he and his master are hired to do but soon he becomes involved in something a lot grander than he ever imagined. Over the books we see him grow, fall in love and become the amazing assassin he was destined to be. Jam-packed with action and an incredible story. The book keeps you engulfed in its world. Brent Weeks introduces a few different forms of magic. I have to say one in particular, without giving away possible spoilers, is epic!!

He develops into a somewhat anti-hero. His actions are based on what he and his master are hired to do but soon he becomes involved in something a lot grander than he ever imagined. Over the books we see him grow, fall in love and become the amazing assassin he was destined to be. Jam-packed with action and an incredible story. The book keeps you engulfed in its world. Brent Weeks introduces a few different forms of magic. I have to say one in particular, without giving away possible spoilers, is epic!!

The author introduces you to many characters, each with their own troubled backstory and we learn more about each of them. Kylar’s world is rich in magic and history.

I would defiantly recommend this book series to anyone. I was so sad to finish the third book. The story had me with my nose in the book, wanting to find out what happened next. At the same time wishing the book would not finish and that more pages would magically appear in the book.

#Nightangel #books #mustread