Writing

New Story: A Change of City

New bit of flash fiction added to the site today! Inspired by my favourite band’s song A Change of Heart, it’s a small piece about being in the very moment of a break-up.

I could see the desperation in her eyes but her lips remained sealed. Her expression revealed everything, but she would never admit it. She would never admit when she was hurt, when I was hurting her.

Minutes dragged by as I watched her hold in tears. “Is there someone else?” Her sweet anger made me smile internally, and I was careful not to show it on my face.

“There is always someone else,” I explained, unsure how….[read more]

Life Experience

Two Choices

It’s no secret that life throws plenty of opportunities at you to be sad, miserable and down. ‘Oh woe is me, why is the world against me, what did I ever do to deserve this?’ The truth is, you probably did nothing to deserve the hardship and the pitfalls that are dealt to you and at times it can feel like it’s just you against the world.

When something goes wrong you have two options, just two. You can turn away from everything that has happened and hide, you can pretend amongst the tears and the panic attacks that everything is actually okay and that if you protect yourself with cotton wool, you will be fine. You can run away from the trauma, guard yourself and build high walls to make sure you won’t get hurt again.

Or you can confront the pain head-on. You can stare it in its beady black eye and understand it, why it’s come for you specifically. It might not reveal any of its reasons or let you in on its secrets, but by facing it you can be damned sure that you can push past it and move forward.

It’s easy to hide and it’s easy to shut down, to close yourself off from the world around you. It’s most definitely a surefire way of protecting yourself, we all know that. But ultimately, it’s also the death of you. You can’t grow as an individual without taking on challenges willingly or otherwise, and you will never learn more about who you are by turning your back and running away.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to be sad and upset, because when you bottle your real emotions – men and women – it makes everything 100x worse. But there should always come a natural point where you decide what to do next, and that’s the crucial moment. Do you blanket yourself and try to smooth over the cracks that have appeared? Or do you stand up with your head high, borrow some glue from someone who supports you and take a leap of faith?

Well I took the glue, and I would choose to take a leap of faith every time. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, nobody does, and it’s really scary to throw yourself into the unknown alone like that. But me, I wouldn’t do it any differently. I didn’t hide and here I am, Brittany v2.0, and I will continue to not hide every time a difficult challenge comes along. I want to confront life and take control of what happens to me and of how I feel, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do from now on.

emotional-resilience-unleash-your-inner-strength-6-638

Life Experience

I miss…

A video showed up in my Facebook notifications from nearly four years ago, back when I was in first year at university. Even though I’m only in touch with two out of the eight or nine people in that 30 second video, I miss a lot about that year.

It was a difficult year, though, with an awful lot of wasted effort and hard work on relationships, romantic or otherwise, that turned into nothing. It was a year that taught me about people, and how to deal with different personalities, whether they clashed with mine or not. That year taught me how to love someone and how to deal with their absence and the way they crushed out relationships. It also taught me that not everyone is truthful and that people are quite capable of being hurtful without too much of a conscience to hold them back.

What I miss, however, is spending time with different people every day, not knowing who would rock up that evening or who you’d be staying up late with, sharing secrets and chatting about anything and everything. I miss the ridiculous fancy dress outfits and (in a weird way) the drama that surrounded daily life. It’s an interesting psychological challenge to try to suss people out.

I miss going to lectures and learning new things, I miss going to different people’s houses/flats for dinner and I miss going out at least twice a week to let down my hair and party with whoever I was friends with at the time.

I’m an entirely different person to who I was in first year, in 2011/12. Anybody that I knew then, you probably don’t know me now and there’s a chance that we would get on now after we’ve all changed through the last three to four years. Many times, I think about reaching out to those I lost touch with, but then remember it’s probably not worth it. This time in four years I will likely miss the peace of living with friends and the freedom of not having a proper career. Who knows where I’ll be, or even who I’ll be.

So for anybody just starting out at university in their first year, treasure it. You might find it hard, you might find your best friends, you might even find yourself, but take lots of pictures and make lots of memories. Just enjoy the feelings of knowing anyone in the world can impact on your life at this very moment.

Life Experience, University

Dear ‘Ruth’

Vulnerable and eager in the early days of September, 2011, I was looking for someone to trust and to befriend, someone that I could shed all my secrets to, someone who could come with me to compare dresses out shopping, someone who was on the same wave length as me. And I found you; quickly and wholeheartedly you introduced yourself into the void in my life.

Dear Ruth,

Over the last year or so, I’ve really changed; I don’t think I’m even the same person that you used to know and you might not even recognise me. It’s been about three years since we last spoke and this message to you, whether you are aware of it or not, is about how you influenced my life. I want to say thank you, Ruth for everything you did, all you contributed in those delicate few months that we were friends. We did have a good run at the start of university but I had to learn the hard way how you could be so affected by a boy and in turn how you could affect the other people around you, people who I thought were also my friends.

I first questioned your personality when you, despite rummaging through my wardrobe on a daily basis, refused to lend me clothes because there would be no way they would fit me. Being a size 10/12 compared to your slight 6/8 obviously meant that I was too large for you and your designer clothes and I forget now how many times you told me I didn’t eat enough humus or lettuce. You were also keen to tell me that my then boyfriend was a bad idea and even though you thought it was funny to flirt with him and sit on his lap, you still found it appropriate to tell me how pathetic our relationship was. It was important to you to one-up everybody, to be worse off, or on occasion, better. Nobody could have anything without you having more or less. Even though I have a cracked bone in my foot, your size 3 feet are more painful because of your 4 inch size 2 heels. You used to take pleasure in telling me that my university course was not as good as yours and that your course mates were just the best, whereas I’m aware that you no longer speak to yours and I still live with mine. I remember going out with my course friends, and finding that before leaving the house you would lock yourself away with the other housemates, and I wouldn’t see you the next day because you’d all decided to take an early shopping trip together, despite knowing I was in the house and not in a lecture.

Ruth, I could have lived with all of this; everyone has flaws, mine aren’t great and I sometimes wonder why people stick with me, but you took it too far. Deciding that your ex boyfriend who you had dated for no more than two months was the be all and end all was not what I would have imagined you to do. Screaming at me in the middle of a nightclub about how my then boyfriend was talking to other women – oh no! – and then leaving with the other girls was something that I will never forget. Screaming at me in a different nightclub for a second time after we had moved into a house together and then leaving me alone in that nightclub is something that I can never forgive you for. You listened to your ex boyfriend who told you that I was interested in him and you abandoned me in the middle of the night, a thirty-five minute walk from a new home in a new neighbourhood that I’d been told was risky at night. You didn’t believe me when I told you that he was lying, but you had made up your mind. From then on you made the next three days in that house effectively hell. I heard you calling me names to the other girls, I saw you hiding and moving my stuff and I remember you leaving the house unlocked while I was sleeping so you could go on a night out. Part of me wishes I had dropped the deadbolt on the door, but what would have been the point in stooping to your level?

Normally, letters to people are full of forgiveness and sometimes blessings, but I can’t forgive you. What I can do is thank you. Thank you for forcing me to move out of the new house to then live with my real friends. Even though I began paying two rents on two houses in that year, I was happy. Thank you, Ruth, for all your malice because, without it, I may not have met my wonderful boyfriend. I would not have gained stronger relationships with people who are still my best friends. I don’t think I would be where I am today without your vindictive assistance and even though you make me shudder inside and make my heart turn cold when I see you, I thank you for all of that. I sincerely hope that you remember everything that happened, but I can imagine that you continue to have your rose-tinted side of things. Brittany, what a bitch who tried to steal your boyfriend and always left you to see her course friends, you must have felt so hard done by. But, in all honesty, thank you for indirectly bringing me to a better group of people, to a better university life because for the most part, my first year was dampened down by you.

You really showed me what some people can be capable of, and you really, really changed my life. So thank you, Ruth for everything. I don’t assume our paths will ever cross again but for the minuscule amount of time that you affected my life, thanks and I won’t ever, ever forget it. If you are reading this, I’m certain that you’ll know this is you even though Ruth isn’t your real name and I sincerely hope you read it with integrity, attention and with an open mind. This letter to you is my official goodbye, and I can safely say that after writing this, I feel a large weight and concern has been lifted from my shoulders and I can continue to stand tall and proud.

Love Brittany.

Life Experience, University

Awkward…

Since mentioning that I was thinking about doing some vlogs, I’ve been trying out all my technologies (all three of them) to see what works best and as of today I’ve recorded a couple of them. But, that’s not what this post is about. I settled on my Sony Handycam, so I looked on the hard drive to see what’s on it, what the last thing was that I filmed. This is where it gets…odd. Well, not for you, of course, only for me because you don’t know these people. When you’re a human, which I’m pretty certain most of you are, you make friends who you get very close to, very quickly. And then, all of a sudden, they’re out of your life. Just like that, and you’re looking round like what the hell just happened?

Ace Nao Friends :D
Ace Nao Friends 😀

Anyway, I found a video with two people in it that I was very close to. Like, ridiculously close. Embarrassingly. And I did get so embarrassed. Just remembering that these people that I used to associate with all the freakin’ time did actually exist, even though they don’t to me any more. It’s just crazy how relationships with people change in the space of, what? A week. I just can’t comprehend that I have a completely different circle of friends – a stronger and bigger one at that – compared to this time last year. Well, maybe not actually. The whole kerfuffle dragged out for soooo long, it all started like last January? I think. I dunno, I forget. On purpose.

It just blew my mind that this was a life I used to have with these people not even that long ago. My mind is just gone. It’s baffling. I feel like a completely different person. I guess that shows that you’re moulded by your friends and the people that you’re around. Just me?

The end of the story, anyway, is that I pressed delete.

Entertainment, Film, Review

Review: Closer

I adore this film. Even though it’s got a pretty slow story, it’s just full of action at the same time. If that makes any sense…No? Okay, here’s a breakdown (don’t worry there’ll be no spoilers, there’s only one twist and that’s at the end):

Dan (Jude Law) and Alice (Natalie Portman) fall in love.

Dan cheats on Alice with Anna (Julia Roberts).

Anna meets Larry (Clive Owen) through Dan because Dan pretends to be Anna on a sex website.

Anna and Larry fall in love and get married.

Anna and Dan continue seeing each other for a year.

Dan splits up with Alice and Anna splits up with Larry.

Larry and Alice meet in a strip club when she becomes a stripper and have sex.

Anna gets back with Larry.

Dan gets back with Alice.

Alice falls out of love with Dan goes back to America.

Got it? It’s pretty complicated to understand, but you find yourself getting it as you watch the film; it’s nothing complicated like Inception, it’s pretty easy to follow. But, yeah, I remember first watching this film in one of my media lessons because, let’s be honest, my media teacher was very into films with lots of sex appeal. Be warned: this film should probably be rated an 18 instead of a 15 for it’s vulgarity and language. But there’s never any sexual graphic scenes in it. Other than in the strip club where Natalie Portman might as well be naked, but you never actually catch a glimpse of them being intimate together, other than when they kiss.

I love the characters in this: all of them. Except maybe Anna, but she’s confused by who to love, so you sort of accept why she keeps cheating on Dan and Larry. Even though they all cheat on each other, you never hate any of them, probably because we’re distant from them and they’re not like our friends or anything. It’s just great to see how they solve their problems that they’ve all set up for themselves and how they deal with the heartbreak that they all inflict on each other. What’s amusing about this is that it’s all their own fault and you just think throughout it: Oh, how stupid have you been? 

It does get quite intense, but not in a way that makes you want to kill yourself afterwards, it’s just not a comedy is all. But it is witty and sharp. The scripting is amazing. It’s just so clean cut and it works perfectly. What I mean by that is that it just flows. And then the one twist at the end, when you see Dan’s face, it’s just funny. But not in a comedy way. Obviously I’m doing a grand job at being specific about what I think about this film, but I suppose that’s the point: it’s just vague. But in a good way! You’ll literally have to watch it to know what I mean, but it truly is an awesome film. Watch it!

Entertainment, Film, Life Experience, University

If You Put Your Mind To It…

Well hasn’t this been an interesting week! Essentially, I’ve finished my first year of university – at about 4:30am last Friday morning to be completely precise when I handed in my final essay – and I’m sitting here thinking where the hell has the time gone?! It’s safe to say that I’ve made some amazing friends, lost some amazing friends and miss some – mainly those from home who I don’t see all that much any more. This will change over the summer, I’ve decided to dedicate myself to keeping up with everyone that I love because I don’t want them to think that I’ve forgotten them. This isn’t to say that university is all about making friends, oh no. I’ve realised this lately. University is – would you believe it – a period of three years in which to gain the knowledge and skills that you’ll need in your future career. Not for making friends. Sure, this is a perk of uni and all that, but it hit me in the face the other day that as everyone’s going home at the moment, back to their real lives in their real homes, they’ll probably forget about each other for a time and things will go relatively back to how they were before uni. And then this led me to think: well what happens after uni? We’ll all go off, searching for our different callings in life and make yet more friends. And forget about some of the ones we made here. And then, we’ll get different jobs. Life is constantly about leaving people you love behind. Sure, you’ll never completely forget them, but they won’t be present in your life forever. It’s hard to understand if you’ve been out of school for a good few years, but you don’t realise until your very last year of school that you’re most likely not going to interact with any of these people again that you’ve spent at least 5 years with. And here I am, getting all ‘down in the dumps’ (really not) about growing up, but then I think to myself that life is going to be full of opportunities and that I can do anything I want in life. Anyone can.. And this is when good ol’ Marty McFly comes into it: “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything”. I’m all happy now.. might have to go watch Back to the Future. That’ll top it off. You should do the same. Yes