Broken strings & Pretty things

The world, seen through a young girl's eyes.

Archive for the tag “lifestyle”

Who are you really?

who are you

you are not a name
or a height, or a weight
or a gender
you are not an age
and you are not where you are from

you are your favourite books
and the songs stuck in your head
you are your thoughts
and what you eat for breakfast
on Saturday mornings

you are a thousand things
but everyone chooses
to see the million things
you are not

you are not
where you are from
you are
where you are going
and i’d like
to go there



Two years.

On the 25th of February, this humble little blog celebrated it’s second birthday.

After one year ( I remember being astonished of how long I was able to keep burning my passion for writing, and being even more amazed that people actually wanted to read my clumsy, half baked, ideas. I was thankful for all of the support and kindness and wonder from both WordPress and non-WordPress readers alike.

Yet another twelve months pass, and I’m still taken aback from the love and support of my readership. I wish I could make it so clear how utterly amazed I am that people take the time out of their days to write my posts. I’m even more astounded that people actually enjoy them, taking the time to comment and give me such encouraging words.

Because this blog has become so much more than I ever thought it would be, it’s strange how it’s developed into a digital part of me; like some strange pixelated limb of mine. It’s been something that I’ve been able to keep private from most of those around me, and it’s something which intrigued a variety of admissions tutors whilst applying to university.

However, Broken Things and Pretty Things would not be the blog it is today without you. Without all of you.
Whether this is the first time you’ve stumbled across these clumsy little typings from a naive young woman, or have stuck by me through the onslaught of  either severely depressing posts or love letters.
This post is dedicated to you: the wonderful people who have never failed to make my days.
You are the reason why I decide to turn on my computer and write
You are the reason why I never lose sight of my dreams
You are the reason why I am so constantly filled with inspiration to continually update my blog
You are the reason why I spend half of the time on my computer smiling at your beautiful little messages of encouragment
You are the reason why I feel so blessed
You are the reason why I now have confidence
You are the reason why I believe.

Here’s to twenty four months of blogging. Here’s to the endless bucket loads of support.
Here’s to you, and here’s to many more years of many more clumsy typings.


Yesterday I finally turned eighteen. Last year I wrote about finally turning seventeen (
and it’s strange to think what has happened in just one year. That’s the gloriously captivating thing about birthdays: you just don’t know what is going to happen in the next twelve months. Much like how I wrote last year, this year was filled with the highest of highs and no doubt the lowest of lows. Seventeen was the year where I didn’t think I could face anything harder, and seventeen was the year where I didn’t think I was going to cope. Seventeen was the year of not only losing two of the most significant people in my life, but an array of close and distant friends. But seventeen was the year of change, and the year of meeting the most wonderful people. Seventeen was making the best of friends and going half way across the world and seeing a changed life. Seventeen was achieving more than I ever thought possible. Seventeen was falling in love when I didn’t think I would feel so strongly about a person again. Seventeen saw the hardest, but it welcomed the best. And although I lost and cried and despaired, I gained the whole world. Seventeen was the best year of my life.

And that’s what makes me so nostalgic about becoming eighteen: because seventeen was just so wonderful. Furthermore, eighteen means becoming an adult; it’s not just another candle on the cake like seventeen was. Eighteen is the setting sun to my childhood, and the dawn of a brand new world. Eighteen marks change: in eight months I don’t even know where I’m going to be; just not here.
Eighteen is responsibility and sensibility and less recklessness. But that doesn’t mean eighteen will be any less wonderful than seventeen. Eighteen is freedom and chance and risk. Eighteen is challenging and different and that’s exciting. The next year is going to be filled with new trials and temptations and crying down the phone as well as joys and dancing with friends and 3am. Eighteen is going to be wonderful.

Eighteen is only the beginning.


It’s almost as if the stars slowly pin-pointed their constellations to this.

It’s as if every tiny decision made; every question asked; every struggle faced all pointed towards this. Like my own labyrinth in Plato’s cave, it wasn’t until I reached this opening when I realised that I was actually heading for something. Because if you had told me this destination seven years ago, or even three months ago, I would never have believed it. I never thought I was good enough. To be honest, I still question it every day.

I’m not one to believe in fate, but I wholeheartedly believe everything before this has been mere preparation for something bigger: that every time I wanted to give up, that every time I almost succumbed to the easy option and those times where I thought I just wouldn’t be able to do it, were not in vain. They slowly and quietly led to me to an opportunity: to this old brick road and this towering building before me. Every labour, every pushed limit, every breathless cheer were mere steps to give me the strength to get here.

I’ll open these centuries-old gates and tread those paths so many before me have laid their footprints. I’ll fight: I’ll fight for everything that has allowed me to be sitting in this history-laden room and prove to myself that I am good enough; that I was always good enough. I’ll continue to test those limits, to strive and keep striving until there is no horizon left to capture.

I may not have been able to call you up and tell you where I’m going  any more, but I know you’ll be there too. You always had some preconceived idea I’d wind up somewhere like this.

And chances are that this may not work out; maybe this isn’t actually where I’m headed, but yet another prolonged dead-end. But that’s fine. I’ll try my hardest anyway. Because I’ll make my way out of this labyrinth one day, and I know that I’ll do you proud no matter where it leads me.

The second time you fall in love.

The second time you fall in love is by no means like falling in love for the first time.

The second time you fall in love, you will look up and surprise yourself, because falling in love for the second time makes you realise your heart has the capacity to love more than one person. You realise those times you told yourself that you could never love again were wrong, because after you falling in love with someone for the first time, you can’t possibly imagine that you could love someone again, let alone have someone love you back. So you become happy with half-decent relationships and forced smiles and hands that hold that bit too loose. So when confronted with the situation that you had always been so dead against avoiding, or even believed would never rear its head, you stand stunned in the gaze of the eyes before you.

The second time you start to fall in love, you may want to bolt. You start to feel the familiar exposure of vulnerability and realise that you are finally in the position where you can be broken again; that this time a tub of ice cream or a night out or a phone call with a friend won’t be able to get you by if everything turns sour. No, this means emotional investment, and this is  frightening because the only other time you fell in love, it ended with you not being able to be left alone in a room in the fear you may quite possibly drown in the pool of your own loneliness. So rather than wanting to face it all again, you’ll want to run and escape this person who has somehow harnessed to ability to penetrate your carefully constructed walls. Because sometimes you feel it would be easier and nicer and generally more pleasant if you keep people at an arm’s distance and laugh at a few jokes than really truly feel something.

But the second time is nothing like falling in love for the first time. The first time is, yes wonderful, but equally crazy and damaging and not knowing how to place a whirlwind of such vivid emotion. The first time you fall in love is spending half the time trying to find a place to put all the emotions, whilst the second half is spent throwing your arms wide and yelling to be loved. It’s spending life on a cloud and not coming down because who’ve never experienced heart-break before. You’re pure, untainted and unweighed by baggage. The first love is always a dream, until it ends and reality finally clicks over from on standby.

The second time you fall in love, it will feel more ‘adult’. It will (hopefully) feel right. It will be being able to relinquish any previous ties to the past and realise that you don’t have to judge everyone by one thing someone else has done. The second time you fall in love, it will be harder, but it will be so much more profound. It will be hesitating, asking to be loved back until they suddenly decide they’ve had enough: in that case they can give a few days notice for you to pack away your emotional baggage and get the hell out of there. But once you’re there, you can’t ask for any more. First loves can be insane and demanding, but by the second time round, you have a vague understanding of what fits. You know how to give rather than take it all in, and you learn not to take love for granted.

Falling in love for the second time is like getting back on a bicycle after not riding it for several years: it’s shaky at first, but you never really forget. And after this initial shock,  everything works out wonderfully. You begin to remember the feeling of kissing someone you truly care about, and you realise just what burning bridges prevented you from acquiring: the feeling of not having to pretend to be the best possible version of you, but being able to be comfortable in your own skin. It’s being able to hold another body in your arms and treasure it. It’s wanting to give yourself over and not wish for anything in return, because you’re happy to do so. You’re not mad or crazy or even deceived by your own emotions. You just want to do it because you care.

The second time you fall in love will be different. It won’t be as dramatic or maybe not even as wild, but that’s okay. Because that excitement was short-lived. The first time gets all your crazy out and prepares you for the long haul: for true love. For love which brings chicken soup when you’re red and watery eyed and still seeing beauty. It’s taking that train across the country even though you’re both students and could really go without spending that money or time. It’s slowness and compromise and not building your life on quixotic promises. It’s loving and holding and keeping space. It’s balance and it’s healthy and it’s natural.

It’s when the good stuff finally starts.


Write as it may be the last thing that you may ever do. Write the words which you are too afraid to say. Write when you feel: write when you’re scared or excited or delighted or sad or lonely or even hungry. Write like it’s only you and the world; like your criss cross etchings have significance and meaning. Write when it feels like no one is there. Write because writing fills the void in emptiness. Write even know when you don’t know what you have to say. Write everything. Write one word. Write to change the world. Write to escape the world. Write to show the world how you feel. Write to express your love. Write when it feels like there is nothing left to do. Write when it feels like no one will listen. Write in ink and get it all over your hands. Write when you feel blessed and need to remind yourself how wonderful life can be. Write down the days you never want to forget. Write down the things you do and then throw it away. Write your hopes and dreams and never let them go.

Construct deep and meaningful storylines with deep plot holes and twists and turns and bring it to a screeching halt with a hefty cliffhanger. Create intricate romances filled with clichés and beauty and tragedy and believe that it can all be true. Describe only the beauty you can see through a vast plethora of metaphors and similes and personification and anthropomorphism. Write with rhetoric, when you may not even know the answers. Use nothing but anaphora. If you’re feeling daring, venture into anadiplosis.  Use juxtaposition. Hell, use hyperbole. Hyperbolise and the juxtapose and finish it all with bathos.

Or just write simple sentences. Scrawl like a child in their first days of school. Write nothing but expletives.
Just show your passion.
Just write.  Because we want to hear your words.

Blurred lines.

Around this time I wrote a similar post to this  ( ), writing about how, at some points, it feels like you’ve hit rock bottom. It’s those days where nothing goes right, and these days can just merge into weeks of the constant numb of expected sadness. Maybe it goes on for a month. Maybe a couple more. But at some point, you finally awake from your lonesome-induced coma and suddenly see colour; the once grey shadows suddenly have somewhat of a glisten; the burnt-out edges and broken parts gain a form of clarity.
Because you realise the world gets better. It just takes a little time.

And a little while ago, I scrawled my feelings across an old notebook in the middle of a library because that’s where I finally cracked, and let it all out. Sometimes that’s all you need: to just let it go.
But something, somewhere, inside of the scrawl and ramble makes me still want to share it. Much like last year, I couldn’t just leave it. Not because I had ever planned to post it, but something intrinsically hopes that someone out there may relate; that someone feeling distinctly smudged out may realise that they aren’t alone.

And it went like this:

“I feel almost like a blur; nothing particularly peculiar or broken, but just washed out and faded. Everything around me is just passing by so quick and invariably and yet I’m the one that is blurry. I’m just kind of sitting here and watching it go by. I’m not moving. I’m not going anywhere.

And a blur is quite fitting, because I lack clarity. I lack a sense of direction or purpose or even ambition. I’m just randomly spread out, spilt out, with no distinct line or edge or colour or depth.  Just a blotch on some other’s piece of paper.

And it isn’t pretty. Because blurs are forgettable and have no true place in a person’s mind; they’re too indistinct to have value, and yet not cryptic enough to decipher. So instead, they tear out that page of the book, imperfect in the presence of smudged out fingerprints and it’s thrown away. After all, what use to a person is a smudge?

So I kind of just lie here, crumple and forgotten, laying in my own blurriness, not even sure what I am myself.”

And just as history wonderfully tends to repeat itself, it got better. Because it always does, and when we’re in the middle of something we’re just too ignorant or preoccupied with feeling down to comprehend that things can change for the good.

Because it’s these broken parts and blurry edges which make everything so much better. They make up the bigger picture; they make the detail. Sometimes you just need to take that step to escape it all.

Sometimes you just need to take that step to escape it all. Sometimes the fire exit is right in front of you. Maybe it means just running into the inferno.
And whether it means letting a few tears let loose in the middle of a library or running down the street or finally saying ‘yes’ to that outstretched arm, we can get through this. Those lifeless weeks slowly fade into the distance, day by day. Things get that little bit brighter, and soon you’re free.
Soon you gain that colour and freedom and you realise that you were never thrown away. You were never forgotten and you were never lost.

You still had it together.


I swam in your depths and drowned in it all.
I had always planned to keep myself on the side; maybe dip a toe when times felt easy and when the water felt warm. Other than then, I’d stay over there. It was safe and stable and comfortable. It was predictable. But that’s the thing: sometimes you can’t expect to sit and not be moved. I was swept away by your current which no floatation device or desperate cling could save. I was submerged, I was covered and I was stolen. I was breathless and disorientated. You held me in your waters and my lungs were filled.
I struggled so deeply; I had to reach the surface. This wasn’t safe, or comfortable, nor where I wanted to be. It was scary and deadly and far beyond my comfort zone. But as hard as I struggled, I couldn’t keep my head above it all.
All I remember is the towering wave and the feeling of being completely drenched in your being. I remember the drag of current and the feeling of never knowing if I’d hit the air again, and not caring if I ever did.
Because it was lovely. Because I didn’t want to be rescued. Because I didn’t need a safety rope or a lifeguard to save me when it all got a little scary. Because I trust in  you.

And sometimes I still get that wild panic. Sometimes the fear sets in and I just want to bolt: to get the hell out of that water and get back on the land. Because on the land, I’m in control, Everything stays where it should, and everything is still. Because sometimes getting back in the water is tough when you’ve been left shipwrecked in the past. Sometimes the fear and the flashbacks of feeling those waves is all too much to handle.

You are letting me be scared when I’ve always been able to stay safe in the past. You are me trusting after being left alone underneath it all once before, and never wanting to go back. But you are worth being scared and wanting to bolt and thinking it would be much easier to run and hide. You are worth the mystery and the lack of assurance and inability to be comfortable. You are worth risking everything. You are worth the probability of feeling yet another storm.

You were worth the wait.


What I keep meaning to say.

I only realised that your birthday had passed the other day. I kept meaning to send my wishes, but you know all too well what I’m like with communication when not not face to face.

But as I watch your life transform via various social media sites, I am so happy to see that you got there: you got to where you wanted to be. Just like how I always told you that you’d get there. Maybe you finally believe that life is on your side.
I’m so happy for you darling, and I honestly can’t wait for your life to unfold into something spectacular. You truly deserve it. I hope that you make the wonderful friends that school never granted you, and I pray that you believe in yourself: that the freedom of not being subject to the confines of curriculum will set you alight. I hope you truly come alive now that you are away from it all. You worked all of this time for this, and the time has finally come for you to reap your rewards.

Most of all, I hope you finally find her. I hope you find that girl that I just couldn’t muster to be. Because you are intensely and remarkably wonderful, and I just wasn’t the girl to fall in love with it all, for a plethora of reasons. I hope your walls haven’t been built higher, but rather you take her for that promised picnic, and teach her the wonders of modern day chivalry and dance with her in the refrigerator light like you did with me. I pray you look at her with love in your eyes and don’t see a dimness looking back: you deserve the doe eyed wonder of a girl finally meeting her knight in shining armour.
Because, although I may have not been the one to love you, I know that this girl will wholeheartedly love you. She’ll hear stories of the girl who didn’t care enough to commit her whole heart to a relationship; the girl who was too consumed in her own troubles to text back; the girl who didn’t see your prince with enough clarity. But that’s okay, because maybe I was that girl.
And I’m glad, because it means you will find her, and you will know exactly when it clicks into place.

I just wish that I could watch it all unfold for you. But that’s your adventure.
Instead, I sit here back at home left with your letters and Valentine’s card and beautiful memories and the painting you did of me, and don’t feel remorse, but instead, new hope. Because we were just a mere interlude in the great symphony of each other’s lives. You are going to look back at me as an insignificant little blip of your final adolescent years, and realise the love you felt for me really wasn’t the good stuff: that’s yet to come.

You’re going to be magnificent. I just wish I had the courage to tell you this.
You’re going to achieve those plans of yours, and equally they are going to fall apart just as beautifully. You’ll find method in madness and beauty in instability and love the person you’ll become. And I’m just so happy that it’s all starting now. I’m just so proud.
So as you embark on the next chapter of life, I hope you never lose sight of the big picture – just like you had always told me.

And,honey, most all of all remember what I said about it being better to have loved and lost?
That will always be true. I promise.


Everyone these days are rushing by too quickly. Can’t we just take a minute to sit down and think? Can’t we just enjoy today instead of packing for tomorrow when we haven’t even walked through the door? Can’t we just chat and drink tea and ask each other how we’re actually feeling rather than building walls and only preparing to let people in when we’ve reached the end point? Can’t we just stop running and take a moment to notice the colour of the sky, or the taste of Autumn air or the sound of the crackle in you friend’s laugh?
Can we finally learn to ditch the plans and paper work and learn the perfection in instability? Because life is about the messy bits. Life is that much better when it’s a little shaken up and everything just doesn’t go the way as expected. These days we care far too much about what’s ahead rather than what’s just under our noses and by the time we catch up with ourselves, we regret what we’ve missed. Life is far too short when we only search for the ending instead of working out the middle bit. After all, you wouldn’t just read the last page of a book.

So let’s take the time to appreciate where we are, even if it is in the pitch black. Even if it is in the uncertainty. It doesn’t mean that we have to drop everything, or even stop trying. It just means that we need to take a break. Because our future is ahead waiting for us, but the present is never going to come back. You’re never going to relive this moment again.
We just need to catch our breath. We just need to know whether where we’re heading to is actually the destination we set out to achieve, or even if we’re actually on course for somewhere else. We need to know that we aren’t taking advantage, or forgetting to treasure people. We need to know that we aren’t just heading full speed into nothingness.
Most of all, we need to know whether we’re actually enjoying ourselves.

Instead of dragging each other to our own personal goals, can’t we just hold hands?  Can’t we just walk this one together?

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