Loneliness

Hey,

Rosie’s been away into Japan for three days so far. Sounds like she’s having a great time!

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I’m struggling a bit with the hour difference. Japan is 8hrs ahead of the UK. By 3pm in the UK she’s pretty much in bed and asleep. I’m used to our evening phone calls before bed. Knowing that she wont be there to reply to my messages and send me more of her photos until I’m up the following morning, it makes me feel quite isolated and lonely. There’s too much time and too much to try and catch up with! It has surprised me, I thought I would deal with it better. I’m going to blame it slightly on the exams coming up and say I’m just more anxious and worried than normal… ish.

I was quite a lonely kid growing up. Not bullied and not without friends at all but I always felt different to those Ii knew, how ever much I loved them. I never really found anyone that I really connected with or even just a decent amount in common with. When Rosie’s away I realise how I haven’t felt that kind of loneliness really since we met, over 2 years ago now. I remember going to sleep at night and that feeling of an empty heart and the feeling that no one around you really understands or ‘gets’ you. I remember it really upsetting me at times. And I remember that feeling all through growing up. And I think that’s why Rosie means so much to me, though it’s difficult to explain it.

It was little things when I was younger. I was naturally quite a nerdy kid but one totally desperate to fit in and I actually found myself among the ‘cool’ kids for the first couple of years in secondary school. But I remember feeling (but not understanding it at the time) pretty unsatisfied and unhappy hanging around with those people and feeling like a bit of a fraud just going along with what others wanted and not really saying anything. I played up a lot around that point too, was regularly in trouble for being a nuisance and a distraction in class. I think I wanted to be liked.

When I decided that I wanted to be a vet, It really tuned things around for me. I was motivated and I needed to make time for myself for my grades to be better. I found myself leaning and wanting to sit closer to the quieter students. They in time (begrudgingly) became my friends.

Then A-levels in a way were better. I had a nice bunch of friends who were motivated and opinionated and liked reading and being nerdy. I can remember enjoying spending time during the break and lunch with them. But we never had enough really in common  to spend any time out of school with them. Or it was always complicated for  some reason. There was an obstacle. But they were a nice bunch. I’ve lost a lot of contact with them since going to university. Mostly my fault.

University was a bit disappointing in many ways. It wasn’t how I expected it to be Thought there would be more like-minded people. Naively thought everyone would be in it for the same reason and everyone would be out to save the world and make amazing discoveries haha.  Not quite. But I have made a great bunch of friends that I’m likely to stay in touch with for the future.

There’s a bit of controversy about the Myers-Briggs personality test. For me, It explained a lot. Although i don’t understand the science behind it and it can be used in ridiculous ways it does help one come to terms with different personalities and why there are different reactions to the same situations. So i’m apparently an INFJ. They are supposedly one of the more extroverted introverts. And even that helps me understand why I’m not great around louder extroverted people for a long amount of time. Because although i’m happy to chat to them and have a good time I feel uncomfortable explaining that I’d now like my own space for a bit. An INFJ is a character that is just a bit of everything and so isn’t quite much of anything.

https://introvertdear.com/ This is a beautiful website for introverts.

loneliness BibleI was going to use this image as my featured image. I can remember myself thinking this to myself some nights in bed when I let my mind wander. But not in a religious way, more an exasperation.

I’m pretty certain loneliness played a part in the depression I felt as an older teenager. There were other factors certainly but I think it has the power to overwhelm you and really decapitate you when you don’t expect it. I wasn’t confident in myself, I was hesitant to say things and give my opinion. (I was also pretty shy) but even among-st friends. When you’re the only one rooting for yourself it gets tough and I definitely doubted myself more.

And although I miss Rosie a little bit now, I know I mostly just wish I was there with her. I don’t feel lonely in the same way. Because in meeting Rosie It told me that actually I’m not an odd one out I had just been unfortunate to not meet people on my wavelength. It’s given me confidence that I don’t think I can quite appreciate. But to know there is someone out there that will likely back you in what you do and be a subtle cheerleader as you go along has changed me in so many ways. And I don’t think Rosie has seen the change in me, because I think it happened pretty much as soon as I met her.

I look back now and I think it must have been a matter of time before I did come across a group of people/ or one person that I got along with. I find it so weird to think I might not have met Rosie though. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t. If one of us hadn’t of swiped right 😉 And I’m sure I’ll meet others that I click with at some point. I’m also lucky I fell in love with Rosie too. Shooting two birds with one stone and all that. haha.

Loneliness is a horrible horrible situation to be in. It should never be taken lightly. And equally it’s so common too! I know when I went away to Scotland, Rosie really struggled for the first couple of weeks and I totally understand it now. I was so distracted by the vet practice I didn’t give her the normal kind of attention and time. It’s similar now. But I’m reminding myself it’s only because the internet connection is pretty crappy and she’s having a good time. You’d think you’d get used to be apart! Though being apart is okay, it’s the separating that’s the hardest bit.

I really feel and want to support the charities that help older people who have lost their loved ones and are lonely. And for those that are lonely, apart from getting yourself out there and giving yourself every opportunity to find people you can connect with i can’t think of much else to suggest! I also think, it’s very very easy to take for granted those you do have around you. They probably aren’t perfect and may do your nut in some of the time but if they have your interests in their interests that’s a good start! Xx

My plants! They’re starting to grow!

The lettuce and the Marigolds have ‘hatched’ from their little seeds and are great! Yay, nawww. I’m feeling very proud and excited xD

Rebecca x

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Introverts and the QMH

An Article I have written for the university newspaper. QMH refers to the teaching hospital.

Believe it or not introverts hide among us at the RVC! And that is no bad thing.

We all know everyone is different; it’s been ingrained in us since primary school. How we learn and engage in particular, practically, visually, aurally, reflectively, sociably etc I could go on.

Introversion or extroversion is another broad spectrum that we all sit somewhere along and if rotations has taught me anything, it has shown me that we all deal with a long week in the QMH differently. But usually involving some form of alcohol.

I am an introvert but I’m not shy. Whereas I can talk to anyone, I don’t necessary feel the urge to. I’m happy not to talk and sometimes would prefer not to. Rotations are tiring regardless and I want nothing more than an hour to myself to recharge and refocus at the end of it. It’s not because I haven’t enjoyed myself. It’s that I have so many thoughts whirling through my head from the day’s escapades that I need a moment to breath and clear them. Then I’ll be fine again.

Extroverts, so the definition describes, are the opposite. They gain more energy being with people and so prefer to stay with people after a long and stressful day, they don’t necessarily need that break.

Most introverts hide well because they can be found in busy areas and cope totally fine in crowded and loud places on the condition that they know they’ll get a breather occasionally. Going to the bathroom for the second ‘wee’ in two hours is because those couple of minutes on the lav are beautiful. We focus our thoughts, think about what’s happened, decide who I want to chat to next, what will I eat and drink next, what time I’ll wake up in the morning etc it goes on.

Rotations have difficult but exciting. For the sneaky introverts out there I feel that we may have had it that much harder and I think that some small changes could make a big difference to the year without affecting extroverts or too much in general.

First of all, seminars in the morning: By three in the afternoon, after spending seven hours with lots of other people, being quizzed, running around trying to find the right people, the right patients, talking to stressed owners and trying to convince clinicians that I know what I’m talking about. The last thing I need is to then walk into a room to intensely discuss someone else’s case and what their next steps are going to be. I have too much of my own cases going on in my head to have any concentration or discussion left. Make the seminars in the morning. By the following morning I’ve had the previous evening to unwind, go through my own thoughts and sleep on them and plan for the morning. In the morning I’m yours and I’m happy to discuss a diarrheaing boxer for as long as is deemed necessary.

Second, create a quiet space in the QMH. This might be quite hard, I appreciate that. Everyone will agree with me that the student room is generally mental. Bags on seats, loud excitable students, computers buzzing, kettles going, microwaves pinging and phones ringing. There was one or two afternoons where I struggled and went to the library for an hour. It only takes for a stressful morning to need some time to recoup over lunch. I’m not suggesting a large room or a room with anything in particular in it. Maybe some desks, maybe some chairs, but an absolute must would be on the outside of the door, a sign that says “strictly quiet”. People could eat, people can be doing something on their phones but no talking. Or else, make it easier to go to somewhere quieter, like the library for 30 minutes. You may find that a room such as that will free up some of the toilets frequently inhabited by the secret introverts, as it is our only refuge in the QMH.

Third, quizzing and feedback: I particularly enjoyed tracking with the smaller groups and often one on one teaching. Personally, that suits me far better than big group teaching but that’s not the same for everyone so I wont suggest changing the current system. And without being totally negative, I do think over the year, I have become slightly more assertive. But too often I felt dread towards group sessions.

What was particularly difficult with the big group sessions is being pointed out to give an answer. There is no sure fire way of an introvert not giving you the answer you’re after than by pointing at their face a second after you have asked the question. Then to make it even better, only giving them five seconds to answer before moving to another person. You can make a bet that the minute the pointing finger gets directed elsewhere the answer comes straight to the mind of the introvert. But it’s too late.

It was disheartening after the first few rotation blocks to be told I need to be louder. I understood why yet I’m being told that my knowledge, communication and ability is fine, I just need to be louder. Why? It’s not me to be louder than other people. I’ll get what I want to say across and heard. Usually I’ll wait until other people have said what they want to. But my voice will be heard. And therefore I learned to ignore this comment, as I got more confident in my own ability.

Similarly I got warned with a cause for concern after the first week of a two-week rotation for not giving enough answers. Second week I was so on edge trying to force out answers and so aware that I was being watched and analyzed that I didn’t enjoy it and I don’t think I gained a huge amount.

Therefore, I suggest devising other ways such as spot tests, mock papers and one on one conversations. I know these are all more time consuming than a half hour session of who can shout out words the loudest and fastest but I think it would be a bit more of a rounded approach. Success seems to come from being loudest too often. Yet it just proves who the loudest is.

I often wonder if it is as hard for an extrovert to not say something when they want to as it is for an introvert to say something when they don’t want to?

Just a reminder that there are introverts out there and it’s not a bad thing to not be loud, we make up for it in our ability to listen, understand and reflect.

From,

a proud introvert.

Bulk Market Dalston 

I was told about a bulk store near Dalston Junction so headed there to have a gander. I’m going away for a couple of weeks so bulking up on some dried fruits, nuts and seeds sounded like a good idea/ excuse / justification.

 

It was raining. I was very wet.

The shop was small but sold a good range of things. Spices (!) Dried fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, pasta and dried carbs, eggs, fruit and veg. They also had cheeses, washing up liquid and dog food! They had lots of alternative cleaning tools, cutlery and toilet roll! It was great. They generally had a couple choices of each. For example, for nuts they had walnuts and almonds. They also had chocolate buttons and yoghurt covered peanuts. Nom.

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I brought my own containers… Couldn’t find actual containers so made do. Ha lol.

So you weigh your containers when you enter the shop and write the weight on them before you fill them up.

I got dried apricots, raisins and sunflower seeds. I’d seen the copper scrubber online and had been keen to get it so treated myself. It all came to £12 which is a lot but for the amount I got and the shop being quite niche and good quality it’s not terrible. I’d definitely go back.

If I lived closer it would be great for popping in and filling up when needed. Somewhere I can refill my spice rack !

The woman behind the till was really sweet and helpful and was great to talk to her about her plastic free adventures. It’s been re-inspiring to see someone else keen to do their bit.

One person wont change the world but It’s the little things that do add up. If you’re passing by why not pop in? I have realised that I need to live in the world that I want to see. So no plastic and be nice to everyone and eventually maybe the world will all become like that too! 😉 ❤   I can dream

I had a massive cook off a couple of mornings ago. I’m going back to university next week for my next placement and I’m not looking forward to it. Long story, haha. Anyway the way to keep me happy is to make sure I have lots of nice food! So I have prepared some of the dishes to have Buddha bowls for lunch – guacamole, lentils and hummus. And i stewed some fruits to have with cereal or porridge. I finally made something of all the blueberries I froze. I made blueberry compote for porridge or desserts. I made a big batch of butternut soup and an even more massive batch of veggie bolognese. Boom. Happy Rebecca

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Also! I have been big time decluttering since I moved my stuff back home. There isn’t much space so I have donated probably over 50% of my books to local charity shops and same for my clothes and just things I like but never use. I realised that I had a lot of personal t-shirts that you couldn’t really pass on and was a shame to chuck out so I’m going to make this with them..

http://mypoppet.com.au/makes/2013/04/upcycle-style-braided-t-shirt-rug.html

Should be easy right?? 😉

Rebecca x

Dunkirk

I wrote this about two weeks ago after I saw the film.

I’m currently in Devon on a university placement. I’m staying with two other girls on my course who I didn’t really know at all before coming here.One of them inspired us to go and watch Dunkirk as she had really enjoyed it the first time she saw it.

The film is intense the whole way through and the way it has been filmed, the dialect and story telling is amazing.

There are some books and films and pieces I come across that make me shudder and get a tiny sense of what the war must have been like and this film has really shaken me. I found Sebastian Barry’s Birdsong to do similar too.

We talked about the film afterwards. Said how the fact it isn’t always throwing body parts around and there isn’t much blood actually for us made it feel more realistic. I think I’m so far removed from any kind of war like environment that too much can be unrealistic. But this seemed to just be right. I felt like I was reliving people’s lives.

And the world we’re living in now.. is this what they were fighting for?

For my position in the world, my life could only be worse. I’m so lucky with everything I have. This film only showed me more. But I’m very privileged. I’m safe in a little bubble for now. But for people in general I don’t think the war was fought for the current state we’re in and going to be facing in the oncoming years.

The world is so volatile at the moment not including in the parts of the world already enduring war… which we have so little knowledge about. Pressures are rising. From the local, country wide to worldwide there is so much unrest. No one is happy with anything.

I still have a daily life that’s progressive and I could easily turn a blind eye to what’s going on. I’m in that fortunate kind of position and a huge number of the people in Britain are. There are many people in many countries that will go on as if the world is fine – just that food prices, petrol prices go up, the weather is unexpected, there are more restrictions put in place but they’re moan to themselves, to their friends and family but leave it at that and carry on. It’s their life that they’re concerned with; that their life isn’t altered too much is what they care about. I try not to be like that but it’s hard. I don’t feel like that’s enough. That we should be doing more to help those we don’t know or see everyday. We shouldn’t just take things for granted or accept them for what they are.

The privileged often have the privilege of getting their voices heard. They just need to see that those that aren’t as privileged at them need help.

Brexit came up. And the people I describe above who voted the leave. They have seen their world change recently – more people moving into the area, schools getting busy, GP appointments practically impossible to get. Their life has been affected and they left the Eu to stop it being affected more in the future.

It’s like they can’t see the bigger picture. They don’t want to or can’t I’m not sure.
But actually have they stopped and realized how much they really do have.

Some do and some don’t and not everyone who voted Brexit will be what I’m describing etc!

But this is the people I know.

I watched a short video from a girl who escaped North Korea and all the books I’ve read and articles.

I just don’t understand it. How have we got to this point?

I probably am just a rambling student who doesn’t know what they’re talking about but I think that life should be simple and can be simplified. Because what ever this is at the moment isn’t what anyone asked for.

Why is so much life being wasted. And not even just that but murdered, mutilated and devastated.

Rebecca x

Change and ‘The Power’

I’ve been feeling pretty rotten over the last couple of days. Had episodes of probably what is vertigo, essentially, dizziness and that run down- bleurgh feeling. Feeling sea-sick as I woke up at 6:45 and as I tried to get out of bed the, ‘why am i doing this?’ question came to me and I got back in and emailed to say I wasn’t coming in. I have spent most of the day reading ‘Power’ by Naomi Alderman. I finished it. And i’m quite confused by how I feel about it.

I’ve had a look at other reviews of the book to get some other insights.

It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting and I gorged on the first 100 pages or so because of how inventive it was . I think as the story developed it did lose some of it’s realistic appeal to me. Yes, the story is pretty fantastical but I feel it wasn’t supposed to be just that.

I really enjoyed the first 100 pages because I really felt a lot of aspects were covered by Alderman. It felt like there was a lot of clear messages to be taken from it. How different people coped and reacted to the changes that happened. I think it wasn’t what I thought because it wasn’t actually as nice and successful as I’d hoped. I think the idea that women are more powerful than men, to me, would mean that greater, fairer things would happen. This wasn’t the case and my naivety has been put to shame!  It isn’t power over another that is successful… Ever. It’s not dominance and submission (oi oi) but being on the same level and this is what this book shows. Too much power in any hands can be a bad thing.

The particularly poignant part in the book is quite early on and it is when women start rioting and cannot be controlled and are feared because of their power. There’s a dialect something like “what do we do?”,  “we kill them.”,  “But we can’t kill all the women in the world”

At this point it very is man vs woman. Which actually is totally pointless because both need each other.

And  it makes you think about other riots and wars. And you think, this is pointless too? We are at war against each other. It’s pointless. It’s power not wanting to be lost. But what are we actually fighting for? Those at the top already, what are they actually defending that’s worth defending anymore? Are we asking to be heard or asking to take over and be in charge?

Most minorities just want to be heard and to have fair treatment. That’s what the women’s marches, the LGBT marches that i’ve been on have been about. They were for me anyway.  How can humans be so anti-eachother? Just seems like such a daft concept when you take a step back and look and what we’re doing now and what we’ve done for ridiculous numbers of years. And for what?

I dunno, all I want is to achieve a couple of things that I’ve always wanted to achieve. Do good where I can and use what I have. Power has never been something I have been after so I wouldn’t know! #simplebutcompletelife 

I lost the flow of the book by the end. I don’t think I quite caught the point of some of the character’s stories, maybe I haven’t digested it well enough yet. I thought the book was very honest and fair. There wasn’t an agenda to the book I think apart from a look into power and where we are at the moment. I think I wanted Alderman to talk more about the injustice in parts of the world but she didn’t go into too much detail. Having read a book recently which I reviewed a lot of the countries talk about – India in particularly the reactions really resonated.

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So I’m moving out this weekend back home for the year. I’m on placements all over the UK and in other countries come next week so I’m pretty much going to be living out my car, Betty.

I’ve been in this little room for two years and It hasn’t dawned on me that I’m saying goodbye to it yet. I was reading and it’s been raining all day and with my cup of tea I saw a photo opportunity. My phone never sees what I see but it got close enough.

I’m half packed. It’s going to take a couple of trips. You can see the magazines i’ve yet to read and leaflets about jobs and careers on the side. You can see flowers that Rosie bought me. They’re probably past their best now but i’m not ready to let them go. There’s a half empty box for packing, my keyboard which was fun to play for the four weeks that it fitted in with my routine. My wooden post from one of the marches I went on. I intend to use it again at some point.. It did have a poster on it..

I do and don’t like the idea that I don’t know where I’ll be in a years time. I think I am naturally a home maker and I do want a home or nest of my own. My own nook. Makes travelling all the more special because you have something special to come back to. 

 I suppose I have just been in so many places that I’m just looking forward to not having too much upheaval for a short time. Until I get bored and a wandering eye ;).. 

Rebecca x 

 

 

 

Plastic Free Month: 15 days in!!

Hey!

So the 2nd week has gone much better. I’m getting used to not being able to use plastic and how to get around it.  I have accepted that it just takes a bit of extra organizing and a bit of compromising.

Carrying water with me, eating before I head out, picking up fruit and veg and always carrying a bag, finding time to cook a big batch. Cleaning is easy, though I do want to order a scour sponge i’ve seen online that’s plastic free and friendly etc, cloths just aren’t cutting it! Carrying deodorant, toothpaste and breakfast with me when I stay elsewhere, it’s not actually that hard.

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I went to the opera at the weekend and because I can be a bit of idiot and forget things, I ended up arriving a lot later that i meant to. Worked out fine for the opera but meant we didn’t have time to grab some proper food. We had to pop to a shop to get some sandwiches/on the go food. There was absolutely nothing that I could eat in any of these shops. I did however find a bar of chocolate in only cardboard and foil! Bingo!! It was beautiful!

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I have definitely been eating more healthily again. (shes says after talking about chocolate). Although I have started buying things in jars, such as jams, chutneys and honey, peanut butter. I don’t usually buy them (to be a little healthier and because they can relatively expensive..ish.. and i tend to eat a lot in a short space of time) but they’re great for adding a bit of extra flavour to things.

I had a massive craving for cheese (again with the healthy eating?!) while I was shopping the other day. I had a tupperware on me and the guy behind the counter agreed to fill my tupperware up with cheese!! Best day ever! Only down side is that I did have to have a sticker. So not plastic free. However it did made me think about the benefits of buying in bulk. I could have bought a packet of cheese half the size and used more than double the plastic. This will definitely be something I’ll be keeping up after this month is over.

 

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One issue that I’m having at the moment is that I could really do with some new shoes and a new blouse or two. I keep going to have a look in shops and online and am either unsuccessful or see the plastic tag and just think.. I cant’!! So in that respect I’m saving quite a lot of money. And actually it really is making me use what I already have and is encouraging me to think about what I have and what I could do instead. It’s also encouraging me to not really care either.

The photo with the chocolate bar you can see my shoes, I’d have loved to wear sandles with that outfit. Those shoes were the daintiest/ not over the top and kinda smart? things I could justify wearing. I got to the point where I was running out of time and just said bleurgh who actually cares and walked out wearing them. And you know…nothing bad happened! Excellent!

I have also realised how much I’m starting to do by myself again. So I go through phases of trying to be self sufficient, i grew some vegetables and herbs a couple of years back when I was living at home and I loved it! Can’t do that at uni. But what I have started to doing is making my own bread, vegetable stock, crisps, meals from scratch, buying bulk herbs from markets and freezing them, buying fruit from markets and dehydrating, freezing them. I’m hoping to make some jam or use them in cakes as well as eating them for breakfast.

As well as food, I wanted to buy some flashcards for studying the other day, but obviously they all come in plastic packaging. I realized that actually i already have tons of card and could make my own.

I am just naturally thinking of alternative things I could do. And it’s been a really cool couple of weeks. Really difficult in some respects. I went to another BBQ on Sunday but this time bought frozen veggie burgers in cardboard with me and that was fine. I could have made my own! But didn’t have enough time haha.

There are definitely cons!

For example, all the dried food I bought from wholefoods came in paper bags and when tired I keep forgetting to double check what I’m actually pouring on my porridge….!!

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Also, I can’t easily receive flowers as a gift this month because they all come in plastic packaging. Quite gutting really !!  😉  … it also means that I can’t buy any too so i’m saving a small fortune in gifts xD

Rebecca xx

P.S loving all the Pride stuff coming up in London!! ❤


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To the older me 

Rebecca,

Lots of aspects of your life will change in the next few years. You have no idea what you will see, do and where you will end up. But the way you think now feels right and fair but still you have so much to learn and figure out.

Remember that you will never be able to second guess someone else’s story. Before you go to judge and put them into one your ingrained default stereotypes talk to them, learn about them. Realise how similar and different you are.

Remember where you grew up and what you saw. Remember the people you met and the situation.

At the end of each month, ask yourself if you’ve helped anyone, volunteered or donated your time or skills or donated money. If not, why?

Remember how you still want to change the world and still think it’s possible. Remember that you can still be settled and curious and explorative. Remember that if you are not happy with something you can change it.

Remember that you can’t just look out for yourself, you need to be able to see the bigger picture. Not everyone is in your position. Remember to practise being in other people’s shoes.

Remember that the world is not finite and that you simply can’t have everything you want. Compromise is good and healthy.

Remember to do the things you love and inspire it in others. Remember that you don’t have to be pushy or competitive. Grow at your own pace and don’t over do it. Take breaks and analyse.

Remember to be the best person you can be, because then your time will never be wasted.

Rebecca x