Self Doubt and Creativity

I love Sylvia Plath, back when I was at university, not knowing who I was or what I was doing (although that’s still ongoing). There is something about Plath that spoke to me in so many different ways, but there is something she knew well. The fight between self-doubt and creativity.

I’ve always found myself to be a creative person, writing stories and poems since I was small, singing, acting, dancing. When you’re young, for many there is no such thing as self-doubt, you dream and you do, that’s it. It’s only as you get older that a voice pipes up in your mind, not of hope, but of doubt.

For the past few years, I’ve had my heart set on writing a book, my laptop currently full of ideas and different starts. I have poems and song scrawled in notebooks at mine and my parents. I can’t help but have these ideas come into my head and keep going. That said, they remain unfinished and I know why. That little monster of self-doubt creeps in eventually and makes me want to get rid of it all!

With all this in mind, I want to get rid of my fear. I want to break free of my self-doubt and internal criticism. So, I’ve started just writing and not reading over it as soon as I finish. I’ve also been listening occasionally to the audiobook of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

How do you help yourself when it comes to self-doubt and creative fear? Let me know in the comments below.

My Health Mission

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Hello, hello, hello!

It feels like ages since I’ve written a post about health and how I’ve been getting on. Now I’ll be honest, my whole gym fitness has been awful for the past few months, truly, truly awful. I’ve neglected it and just didn’t have the energy, which I now know had a reason and after some medication, I have a lot more energy and can actually focus on getting back into it.

What’s spurred this on? I hear you ask well I had a checkup and wanted to know what I should be aiming for in terms of weight loss. I’ve known that my weight has gone up and down a lot since I broke my spine, but didn’t know what I should be aiming for. She confirmed what I knew, I was overweight.

My doctor was lovely, she knows that I struggle with exercise because of my spine and told me that under no circumstances I was to stress and beat myself up. That is was going to take me a little longer and I had to take it easy with my exercise, but that I would get there.

So I’m on a mission, not to punish my body but to try to help it and lose the weight in a way that doesn’t make me feel rubbish. I know I can do it, it just might take a little more time and a little bit of restraint.

 

October Favourites!

While I’m not sad to see October disappear it wasn’t all bad! Here are some of my favourites from the month of October!

Books 

It was a bloody brilliant month for books. From two of my most anticipated reads, Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers and John Green’s Turtles All The Way Down released I had high hopes. I was also sent an ARC of The Tattooist of Auschwitz which was an incredible read (review to come in January). Sarah Millican’s How to be Champion made me laugh a lot as did graphic novel Lumberjanes. I also really enjoyed Female and Raising Ryland, both looking at gender.

 

Fashion & Beauty

This month money was tight so I don’t have my usual fashion and beauty highlights but I did get some nice gifts. My grandparents bought me some foundation after mine ran out, knowing I’d be going to a lot of interviews and I can be very self-conscious about my skin. Bare Minerals is the only thing I can use on my skin without pain. My parents bought me some beautiful autumnal shirts (all from Primark) and they are SO flattering. Also, I managed to pick up a bath bomb from Lush as a treat for myself. I’ve also been having house pride with my Gryffindor scarf that I got from Lootcrate.

 

Relationships 

As most of you know, my boyfriend was travelling the country for the majority of this month. I was lucky enough to go and see him and the show in Reading at the beginning of the month and three weeks later I got to have him home after what felt like an age of waiting (if you’re curious to know what it was like when he came home you can find out here).

 

MCM London! 

This month was also MCM London and I got to wear my Wednesday Addams costume after seeing the wonderful Carrie Hope Fletcher play Wednesday on stage. Abbie went as BMO from Adventure Time…we certainly looked odd together.

 

General 

I finally got my hands on my piece that was printed in Love From (you can order issue 8 here), which was really cool. I also got my pre-ordered Harry Potter Pop Vinyls and found the Luna Lovegood absolutely adorable with her lion hat and there was some further Potter magic when my Dad bought me some Christmas decorations for my future tree in the Hogwarts houses. I’ve  also been enjoying the Autumn vibes with some walks and a great Halloween party.

 

What were your favourite parts of October? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Spooky Halloween Tag!

Happy Halloween my wonderful followers! For tonight I wanted to share with you a spooky tag that I watched on ProblemsofaBookNerd (video at the bottom of this post). So while I’m apparently too old to go trick or treating, here’s a treat for you all!

1. Favourite horror or Halloween-themed song?

Thriller, I LOVE  this song and the video and the cover artwork. I remember listening to it as a kid and the laugh scaring me but loving it anyway.
2. Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or in an abandoned building.

A zombie.
3. Have you ever played with an Ouija Board?

Nope, nope, nope.
4. Favourite horror monster or villain?

Dracula.
5. The creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

Feeling deep cold around me when it’s warm, like something was there… not ruling it out.
6. If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house”, would you do it?

Run the hell away.
7. Are you superstitious?

Yes, I wish I wasn’t but I am. I don’t tempt anything!
8. Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

I definitely do
9. Which urban legend scares you the most?

I don’t actually know any!
10. Do you prefer gore or thrillers?

Thrillers every time.
11. Do you believe in multiple dimensions or worlds?

No, I don’t think so.
12. Ever made a potion of any sort?

I used to mix everything up in the bathroom to make ‘potions’ as a kid.
13. Do you get scared easily?

I definitely do! I’m not a fan of scary!
14. Have you ever played Bloody Mary?

Nope!
15. Do you believe in demons/the devil?

No, I believe in something afterlife but not demons or the devil.
16. You’re home alone but you hear footsteps in your house, what do you do?

Grab something heavy and hide.
17. If you got trapped in one scary movie, which would you choose?

Umm can I choose none of them? Or a ‘scary movie’ because they’re meant to be funny…
18. If you could only wear one Halloween costume for the rest of your life, what would you be?

Hogwarts Student, I feel like that’s going to be happening a lot in the next few years.
19. would you ever go to a graveyard at night?

No, no, no!
20. In a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice?

I feel like a baseball bat is a good weapon of choice. I wouldn’t trust myself with a gun.
21. Would you rather go to a Halloween party or go trick or treating?

Trick or Treating every time!
22. You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final girl, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I’d like to think I was a final girl but I’d probably end up dying first haha.
23. Do you have to watch something happy after watching a horror movie so you can go to sleep?

Why would you watch a horror movie before sleeping! What is this madness!
24. Whilst watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time or the person who falls asleep?

I go between shouting at the characters and hiding behind my hands.
25. Are you the one who gets scared, or the one who does the scaring?

The one who gets scared, I’m a total scardy cat.
26. Favourite scary book?

Ohh that’s a tough one! Jane Eyre I think. I loved how creepy and gothic it was!
27. How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?

I think I watched part of one when I was 11 or 12 maybe just a clip? I’ve generally just avoided horror films.
28. What was your first Halloween costume?

My Mum informs me that I was a pumpkin.
29. What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

I was a Hogwarts student for my best friends Halloween party and Wednesday Addams for Comic Con.
30. If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), what would you pick?

A black cat, hands down. I get to look after Ali’s Mum’s black cat Suki and she is beautiful!

There are my answers! Let me know your replies in the comments!

Check out Cici’s video below!

Long Distance Love: When They Come Back

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Today marks a week since Ali got home from tour and he’s already been back out at work again today! It’s been a really busy and weird week for a few reasons, mostly because I got quite sick on his second day home and had to go to the hospital. That was a homecoming he wasn’t expecting!

But how does it feel to have him home? Well, a mix of feelings. I’m so happy he’s home and that it feels like home again. Relieved because now I have someone to talk to again and cuddle when I need it. Also, weird, I got so used to just doing my own thing and not having anyone around that the first few days felt strange, almost like we were both being too nice to each other.

It was definitely an adjustment, for Ali, having time to chill out and not having a strict time plan for each day like he had for a few months (as well as not going to bed at 2am every day) and for me having to think before I put my speakers on in the morning or just came home and went straight to my computer.

Overall though, I think it was good for us. We both had our own lives for the past 2 months and were forced to be without each other. I realised that I can manage on my own, he seems to have realised he’s not as introverted as he once was.

As much as I think it was a good experience, I’m so, so glad I have him at home for a few weeks before he goes off overnight again. Sharing the bed might be a pain, but it’s worth it for the cuddles in the morning!

I’m Not Going to Miss October – Life Update.

It’s been a funny old month and although I was really looking forward to it initially, I’m not a fan of October 2017. This month my life has, again, completely changed in a way that I didn’t expect, although that might not be a bad thing, in the long run, I’m still working that out.

At the beginning of October, I lost my job, something which was a complete shock for me. It completely knocked me off balance. I had a lot of self-doubts, a lot of questions, a lot of stress. Following that, I had my bank cards eaten by a machine, a nasty case of tonsillitis and ended up in Accident & Emergency. It was pretty tough for a few weeks. Why am I writing about this though? Why am I posting about it on the internet?

When I started this blog I wanted to be honest about what my life is like, initially at university and now as a graduate. I didn’t want to mislead those of you who read my blog. It’s been emotionally and mentally draining to go pick myself up again and go on the job hunt when I wanted to just cry.

It hasn’t all been negative. Ali’s come home from tour and having him here has been wonderful. Having company again and someone to wake up to and wish me luck as I leave.

I’m determined to make November better, to be back in work and back on track heading towards 2018.

Feminist Friday with… Jess Wade

As a part of my Feminist Friday series, I’ve been asking lovely bloggers and writers to write about Feminism and what it means to them. Today, the wonderful Jess from makingphysicsfun speaks about Inferior by Angela Saini, women and science. So, over to Jess. 

Did you, like me, read the Google memo this summer and role your eyes? Or perhaps look up the new Nikon D850, and be confronted with an ad campaign that consisted of a wall of 28 men. Maybe you picked up the Time’s Education Supplement (Sept 2017) to read boys were “better at physics” because they pee in urinals? Or waited for the announcement of the 2017 House of Commons Science & Tech Select Committee with naïve optimism, thinking it might continue the women-dominated glory 2015 – 17, to find out it was (you guessed it!) … all men. Every single time I get tired of talking about the need for more women in science – well, physics and engineering specifically – a new scandal makes part of me think I have to try again. But the rest of me is thinking – maybe they are right? Maybe women really are crap at photography. Maybe I am worse at physics than the boys in my group because of how I go to the toilet? Maybe women are bad at technology because we don’t have enough testosterone? I don’t say this out loud much, I wouldn’t want to let the side down!… but these miserable thoughts echo around my head every time I have to stand on stage.

And then, I was asked by Physics World to review a copy of Inferior by Angela Saini. Angela Saini is an Oxford-trained engineer who has had a phenomenal career in popular science writing and journalism. In 2009 she was named the European Science Journalist of the Year by the Euroscience Foundation and three years later won the Association of British Science Writers’ award for best news story. That year she became Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2015 she won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Kavli Science Journalism gold award for a BBC documentary into bogus universities.

When Saini was investigating the science of the menopause for a Guardian article, she discovered that there is very little scientific literature explaining the biological mechanisms that caused it. She realised that everyone takes it for granted that research will be fair and unbiased; that experiments will be ethical and that the results will be reproducible. But what if the people who wrote the rules of science were biased themselves? Saini’s ground-breaking second book, “Inferior”, uncovers how science has gotten plenty of women wrong, often due to the biases of the people and processes involved in research. An advocate for equality and honesty within scientific discourse, Inferior does not set out to prove that men are sexist scientists- it highlights stories where assumptions, poorly designed experiments and hasty press releases have failed 51 % of the population. She is a phenomenal journalist determinedly persistent in untangling the evidence from both sides to present pure fact – her bibliography is 29 pages long with 306 distinct articles and books covering the gamut of evolutionary psychology to anthropology. Inferior has it all: from understanding bluebirds to babies, shouting at dodgy f-MRI studies and picking apart the lazy stereotypes that prevent women entering science and technology careers. Reading Inferior has given me my voice back… and I am going to short very loudly.

You can catch Angela Saini on her UK university tour or at a local event. You can buy Inferior here.

Angela has written a comprehensive response to the now infamous Google memo, which you can read here.

 

Bio: Jess is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics and Centre for Plastic Electronics at Imperial College London, creating chiral molecular structures as the active layer for electronic devices. Jess has been involved in projects to support gender inclusion in science, as well as encouraging more young people to study science and engineering. She won the Institute of Physics (IOP) Early Career Communicator Prize (2015), “I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here!” (2015), the IOP Jocelyn Bell Burnell Award (2016), the IOM3’s ‘Robert Perrin Award’ (2017) and the Imperial College Dame Julia Higgins Certificate (2017). She sits on the committees of the IOP’s Women in Physics Group, Communicators Group and London & South East Branch. She is also on the council of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) Young Women’s Board.

If you’d like to write for Feminist Friday please get in contact, I’d love to hear from you! Email chloefmetzger@gmail.com.