Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Greatest Lesson of 2014: A Letter To My Best Friends


Hi, my name is Katie, I have suffered from depression since I was sixteen, 

And I am okay. 

I have know times of not okay, I have known times of a hell of a lot more than just not okay, but it is with a full heart and the help of some medicine, I can say I am now, okay.

And that's a really beautiful state to be in for more reasons than one.

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Curious Double Life of an Avid Dreamer


"Where... Where did you get this, Ma'am?" 

I'm lying flat on the grass propped up on my elbows beside the car I've just been ejected from. The Police officer stood on the opposite side of the car gestures toward the smooth black pebble the size of my fist, sat on the back seat. 

Before I can answer, she frantically grabs her radio calling for backup. 

"Oh god, oh god, oh god...." She murmurs.

I scramble to my feet as she leans in and kicks the pebble out of the door nearest me. 

"Go!" She screams as the pebble splits open the moment it touches the grass. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Power of Reading & the Human Wordsmith


"A writer is not someone who writes because they want to. A writer is someone who writes because they have to."

I can't remember when or where I first came across this quote, but it is one that has stuck with me for a very long time.

And the more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me.

At first of course, it sounded preposterous - I've spent my fair share at school and uni 'having to write' stuff and I've hated every second of it. What I enjoyed was writing what I wanted to write. 

But that was never just it. It wasn't something I dipped into every now and again to make up a story to pass the time or live out my greatest fantasies. Because looking back at the teetering mountains of notebooks, scrapbooks and folders of endless scrawls and rants that have remained my faithful companions since I was very small, I realise:

That luxury of choice was never mine.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

How to Not Completely Lose Your Shit as an Online Creator


I think one of the biggest things I've come to realise from my years of blogging, is that:

Choosing the life of an online content creator is not to be taken light-heartedly.

As a person of the internet, not only do you have to be on your A-game and working pretty much 24 hours a day (or schedule your content to post as you sleep), you constantly have the pressure to be relevant, you serve yourself on a silver platter for untold amounts of abuse, trolling and anon hate mail, and you're pretty much signing yourself up to be professionally deluded about reality.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Struggle of Being a Writer in a Bloggers World


It's always hard to see someone else doing incredibly well, at something you've always wanted to do incredibly well in.

It's an unavoidably human reaction, one which is usually followed by equally unwelcome guilt when you actually see how nice that person is, and how hard they've worked to get there.

But you know, I've come to think that the world would just be a better place, if we all started to be a bit more honest about envy.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Bloggers, Millenials & the Future of Our World


As predictable as the sun, the way day becomes night, my days of darkness follow my days of light.

But when stillness comes and my demons are slain, the light will come for me again.

Melodrama aside, I often cannot escape my despair for humanity.

Whether the constant barrage of disaster and dismay from the press, or witnessing first hand the way some treat each other, treat animals and nature, treat the world, sometimes it overwhelms me to a point where I feel physically sick. 

One of the most profound things I have come to realise recently;

There will never be peace on earth.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Little Victories



Yesterday morning I woke early, yawned profusely, and went downstairs to make myself a cup of coffee. I flicked on the kettle then jumped at the discovery of a giant bumblebee sat on my windowsill. 

I leaned in, unable to tell if it was alive or dead. 

I blew a little air on it and its feelers gave a little twitch in response.

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Song of Silver Speaks


Forever remain curious, refuse to remain unremarkable. 

That phrase which fell upon my mind one cold winters eve, words which rained down upon me in an incoherent medley only to somehow form in a truth at the forefront of my mind - today I hear them sing louder than ever.

The world suddenly made sense to me, the universe and all it's dwellers and inhabitants, all of it suddenly made sense. I had a choice. I have a choice.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Inescapable Mourning of Days of Past


Do you ever get that feeling,

Where you're going about your daily life, a string of daily preoccupations and errands keeping you busy,

When all of a sudden, the whisper of a half-forgotten song playing in a shop you walk past, the smell of someone's perfume next to you on the tube, that old dress you dig out the bottom of your wardrobe... 

One small little cue enters your immediacy and suddenly your whole soul is assaulted with a specific memory which comes flooding back to you in a raging, uncontrollable torrent. And like a sucker punch to the gut, you inhale sharply with the brute force of your sudden mourning, not for the people, not for the place, but for a whole sphere of time in your life that once was?

He'd been in my dream.

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Relationship Between The Blogosphere & Mental Health: We Need To Talk.


Here's a little true story for you.

When I was a kid, I was never afraid of spiders. I didn't get it. Everyone would always freak out about them but I never understood why. To me, there was nothing to be afraid of, they were tiny, infrequently seen and essentially harmless. But everyone I knew, loathed them. After so long watching my sister, mum and friends screaming when they saw a spider, I found myself jumping up when I saw one scuttling my way. Because unbeknownst to me, these people who I trusted, respected and loved were more influential than I could imagine. Then I began screaming too. It soon developed into a genuine, debilitating phobia, and to this day I have a crippling fear of the bastards. 

And when you look at that, it's kind of scary in itself.

The blogging world is rife with talk of mental illness right now. As someone who has suffered and also spoken openly about my experiences, it's quite comforting thing to see how people have dealt with and overcome this, and how some people have been leading examples of how it really does get better.

But on the other hand, it worries me deeply.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Subtle Derailment of Leading a Double Life


“Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there's no room for the present at all.”

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

It has recently become apparent to me that I have become jammed in a very exhausting and frustrating position, which I'd be a liar to say didn't carry some beauty to it. 

I find myself torn, stuck between two incredibly crucial points of my life, neither of which I can embrace without consequence upon the other. As I am stood, my left arm is being tugged forth, yearning to dive headlong into the dream-like ethereal future I know I can embrace, but my right arm remains shackled, bound to my earthly commitments and responsibilities which I have accumulated on my path. 

In short, I lead a double life.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Only Piece of Advice You Will Ever Need


Herein lies the greatest piece of advice I have ever received, I could ever give, and I am firm in the belief I will ever need in life.

And boy oh boy is it kinda messed up.

The birth of this great wisdom came, of all places, from the labyrinthine depths of stumbleupon on a day like any other. This idea dwelled within an article discussing 10 Philosophical theories that were supposedly meant to blow your mind. 

I'd say I found my brain gently jostled at best, but one of the ideas truly stood out to me among the others has stayed with me since that moment, lurking in the back of my mind and over time has formulated to become what I like to believe is the greatest piece of reassurance in the universe.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

1 Million Hits


Hi.

So... god, wow.

Where do I begin on this.

I began writing this with the mind that I'd list all the amazing things that have happened in the past year a half, all the wonderful experiences and opportunities and coincidences which have lead me to this point, in the hopes to inspire others to take that chance and start fighting for their dreams.

But I don't need to, or really want to. 

Hell there's near two years worth of blog posts to show all that.

Besides there's something a hell of a lot more important going on here than a thinly disguised series of humblebrags stitched together with a genuine sense of overwhelming gratitude could ever do justice too.

Let's go back to the start.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Well, It's About Time


As it's coming up to my birthday, (THREE DAYS) I guess I've been thinking about the idea of 'time' a lot.

Suffice it to say, I'm really, kinda, totally not up for no longer being 21.

 It doesn't matter how many times you sing it Taylor Swift, you're not convincing anyone it's super awesome to turn 22.

21 is the golden year, where you finally become an adult, where you're finally free to take the world into your own hands and define your fate. Everyone is so amazed by what you achieve when you're 21, it's all 'But you're so young!' and 'Wow you're so mature for your age!'.

To me, turning 22 is like this great hangover from the vibrant, kaleidoscopic montage of childhood birthdays with goodie bags and bouncy castles, and teen parties with cheap wine and kissing the guy you've fancied for ages, which climaxes in that one great explosion of 21, to which you then wake up the next birthday with a sore head, a dry-mouthed sense of responsibility for your life, and the haunting realisation that your next big birthday is *gulp* 30.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Pictures That Tell a Thousand Words


So today I have a super exciting project to share with you!

As I guess you've pretty much figured out by now, there's nothing more in the world I love more than storytelling. Whether it's listening or writing, admiring or creating, I feel like the essence of storytelling runs through my veins - it's almost as though my entire life revolving around the principle of it.

To me, it's simply magic.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

When You Fight For Your Dream & Win


As a firm believer in taking life by the horns and living the hell out of it, it's sometimes incredibly hard not to sound completely full of it. 

It's such a fine line to tread between being empowering and being patronising, because we've all grown up with fairy princesses and teeny bopper bands telling us to Reach for the stars! Just be yourself! Make your dreams come true!

But what does that actually mean in reality?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Learning To Let Yourself Be Saved


I like to think that 20 years from now, I can look back at my life and regard the 17th September 2014 as the day my life changed forever.

What begun as any ordinary day and finished as little more, turned unexpectedly into the day in which I learnt one of the most profound lessons of my life so far, the day that the ignorance I had been clinging to for so long was gently prised from my fingertips and I finally faced the music I'd been persistently shunning.

The 17th September 2014 was the day I realised there are times in life where you simply have to let other people in, so they can help you, to help yourself.

*

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

2am Truths As The Universe Sighs


I have these moments sometimes. 

Moments when I feel this little niggling tingle in my chest, when I find myself easily distracted away from trivial things and overly cynical about the people who partake in them.

And so I turn off all the lights, I put in my headphones, I turn the volume up on full and I listen to a playlist I have on spotify called 'Gravel Fingernails' - (it's a Synesthete thing.)

And at that moment, I know those songs are able to penetrate a very deep layer of my mind, and I go a bit strange. I often cry, I often have my head in my hands or fists clenched tight, sometimes I even get a little out of breath, because it brings forth to the surface some of the most astounding epiphanies I could never otherwise access. The music itself is able to delve deep into my soul, extract a series of thoughts and observations, and string them together upon this logical thread of truth which is tugged through to my conscious mind and I just suddenly understand.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Day of Frost - 30 Days #10

photo source

To find out more about the 30 Day Writing Challenge, click here.

Foreword: This prompt requested by Michelle Louise Love via blog comment :

'I would like you to write about a perfect Christmas dream!'

*

The forest had never been so dead, yet so very alive. 

The frozen mist which had descended in the night had solidified branches, leaves and spiderwebs, the latter of which now appeared to be constructed entirely of diamond-like thread. The spiders were nowhere to be seen. But the absence of life was neither eerie nor daunting as it should have been. The forest was so inexorably still and silent, that even the delicate fluttering of a butterfly's wing would have ruined the illusion that time too, had indeed also frozen.

The bleak leafless trees were like rigid skeletons looming inward, as if suddenly petrified during some epic race. Their bark was coarse, dark and rough, but the magnificent glitter that coated every inch of them seemed to soften their imposing harshness. The litter of broken twigs and remnant leaves were coated silvery grey, their delicate, veins highlighted ivory white. They crunched under my feet; the frost had made them brittle.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Illicit Thrill of Secrecy - 30 Days #9

Sponsored post: I've been given the opportunity to team up with Ray Bans to share with you the worst kept secret in the world.

To me, there's always been something inextricably fascinating about the idea of the secret.

In a world where each of us carry a device in our pockets which is connected to an entire mainframe of human history, knowledge and expertise, we are so used to knowing pretty much everything, and if we don't, being able to find it out in a matter of seconds.

And that's why the idea of the unknown has far surpassed the notion of being something to fear or something to be frustrated by, and has steadily grown to become the opposite - a complete fascination.

For me, I think it explains a lot of things which excite me and pique my curiosity.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The White-Haired Girl - 30 Days #8


To find out more about the 30 Day Writing Challenge, click here.

Foreword: This prompt was sent to me by Sophie Fletcher via email.

The prompt was:

 '
set in a small town a girl dreaming of things far more extraordinary than she feels she's capable of achieving. riddled with debt stuck with parents, I'd love to hear your take on her breaking free and making dreams a reality.'

*

I think in total I probably only saw her about ten times. Spoke to her five, maybe six.

But that wasn't exactly uncommon, I guess I was hardly to be classed as the social type. 

It's not that I was shy, or some voiceless wallflower lurking on the periphery wishing I was involved. Quite the opposite in fact - It just seemed a daily, draining struggle for me to even pretend to tolerate other human beings.

There was only one exception to the rule,  Jessica Mays. She was a bit of a rebel and was into the same weird, dark shit I was - we were inseparable. But then in the way that I learnt that everything you love will always leave you, her family upped sticks and moved to America when I was thirteen.

And pretty much from then on, I was sure I'd never met a single person that I could entertain the idea of for more than a couple of hours.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

5 Things I'm Not Allowed To Say - 30 Days #7



Honesty.

It's what the blogging world thrives on right?

This is my honest opinion of this, check my blog for an honest review of so-and-so, this is what I honestly wear and do and how my life honestly is.


Yet,

Why is it we are so over-zealous to be honest about positive things, yet are decidedly more hesitant when it comes to the negatives?

There are some things I have noticed for a while, things which have frustrated, upset and baffled me as a fellow blogger, and for just one post, I think I'm going to let that slip.

These are five things I'm not allowed to say as a blogger, but I can as a human being.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Tales from 1955 - 30 Days #6


About a week ago I had the pleasure of finding myself among the dazzling lights and retro splendour of the  infamous 'Back To The Future' event run by Secret Cinema in East London. As you know, I'm a sucker for vintage and ANYTHING that goes out of it's way with storytelling to create a real sense of theatrical illusion, and this event pretty much epitomised this.

The most unique and exciting aspect for me was that you were not just a spectator of the show - once you were there, you were a part of it too. A while back when we'd secured our tickets, we were emailed a secret log-in, which redirected to their website for you to input your details. Then it generated your identity, a character for you to play.

Tom & The Strange - 30 days #5


I was only seventeen, when that rusted beat up old Dodge pulled on my driveway, inside the man that I loved and a trunk with my name on it.

In the house I could hear the cries of my family, too busy cursing at one another to notice the creeping absence of their daughter.

I grabbed anything I could see before me, some clothes, some money, and on a whim a bottle of Jack I'd stolen from my Father's forgotten evenings, asleep with a still-lit cigarette dangling from his crooked fingers.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Letter to my Future Self - 30 Days #4




Foreword: This prompt was sent to me by both Leah Symonne and Rachel Farrell.

*

Dear Katie,

I read some of the first draft of your book the other day, and I was quite taken aback.

Not because of how good it was, or even how bad it was, but by ardently flawlessly you were able to articulate and argue the case for your philosophies. You words screamed off the page and sang out into the air like celestial hymns - but that's not what surprised me most, I know you can do that.

What surprised me is how different you are now, how subdued. You don't seem to have quite the same conviction as you did back then.


And I know the reason why.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Other People's Thoughts - 30 Days #3



Do you ever have one of those moments,

 When you're walking down a crowded street or, maybe squeezing through the rush hour of human traffic on your way to work, your absent mind whirring over recycled thoughts, body trudging forward on autopilot - when your hand drops to your side, idly, innocuously, and just for the briefest of moments, catches the hand of a complete stranger?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

London - 30 Days #2



To find out more about the 30 Day Writing Challenge, click here.

Foreword: This prompt was sent to me by Jessica Crisp via email.

The prompt was:

 'It's my birthday on 15th September and it'll be almost a year since I left the UK. It's my first birthday away from home, family and friends and I do kinda miss the UK believe it or not! So, I'd love it if you could write something about England. Just take me home for a little while.'


Monday, 1 September 2014

The Bite - 30 Days #1



And as the clock strikes midnight... we are officially in Septmeber, which means my 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge beings! Instead of taking a month off my usual blogging to dedicate Scarphelia to fiction, I've decided to blog normally once a week to have 4 normal posts in between the days and days of stories. You can find out a little more about this project  here.

So without further ado, let us begin! I hope you all enjoy the ride.

Foreword: This prompt was sent to me by Harry Harris via Twitter.
The prompt was simply two words.
'A Bite'

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

An Exercise in Self-Preservation


To say I feel as though I'm 'going through a transition' at the moment seems like a bit of an understatement.

I've seen it before and I'll experience it a million times more I'm sure. It's just I seem incapable of staying the same person for too long. I guess I'm the queen of the identity crisis.

But this post isn't about that.

I mentioned in my last post that to be frank, my constant feelings of unfounded inadequacy are actually starting to really fuck me off, and I think that's the best thing that could be happening to me right now. The true problem would be if I felt little to no inclination to do anything to help myself. But I do, and I will.

I think what I need right now, is something to take my mind off it. A little indulgence in my favourite kind of therapy; writing.

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Unfortunate Misfortune of being Fortunate



Yesterday I did something which I shouldn't have let myself do, but I had to.

I walked through Kings Cross station with fatigue in my step and a deep set exhaustion about my pace which couldn't be cured with a cat nap or a double shot cappuccino, and I entered the ticket hall.

I was on my way somewhere very exciting, as most of the things in the past two to three weeks have been for me. A non-stop cavalcade of new, thrilling opportunities, meetings and events... an explosion of activity and promise...

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Brute Force of Sudden Un-Ignorance



If I had to pinpoint the one thing about myself I resent more than anything else, I know exactly what it would be.

I have an absolutely devastating, dehumanising inability to deal with sorrow.

I just... stop.

Whilst my subconscious mind is buzzing away in the far reaches of my brain, desperately trying to find light in the troubling situation, urgently seeking out the very well concealed positivity I like to believe is still somehow there... my conscious mind goes on hiatus, and I simply cease to function as a human being.

I just blank.

And that's exactly what my past couple of days have been.

And it's sure as hell not easy trying to explain why.

But here goes.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

See The World In Double Exposure


The most important thing I have ever learned in my life to date, is that there are two things in which change absolutely everything. Forget money, experience, status or intelligence, this is something a little less tangible than that;

Perception, and Perspective. 

And I didn't quite realise exactly what that meant until I started my new job.

But let's backtrack a little.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

25 Fun Little Things



Okay so I know this is a little different to what I usually post, but I realise I've never really done anything like this, and I thought what better time than the present to reveal some things about me and my life before the blog.

The thing is, a lot of people seem to think that I lie or make up the stories that feature on here as they seem understandably, completely absurd and I am a pretty theatrical person - but I can hand on heart say that I have never just made up or lied about anything on here, all these things have legit happened! Part of the reason I started blogging was because ridiculous things end up happening to me -  I just seem to live this Truman Show life, and however ridiculous it seems, I promise it is all true.

So I thought I'd write 25 truths, 25 facts/stories about me that you wouldn't have heard before, to give you a broader insight into my life and who I am.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

All Hail The Silent Appreciators



I think I speak for a lot of bloggers, especially newer ones, when I say that sometimes blogging just feels like talking to a brick wall.

As any kind of creator, there is literally nothing worse than spending HOURS painstakingly crafting, photographing, editing and formatting content, only for it to be simply lost among the flurry, all your hard work seemingly ignored and unacknowledged, and you're left crestfallen as you watch all your effort go to waste.

It pretty much just super sucks.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Power of Negative Motivation


I'll always remember the moment I realised where my greatest source of motivation comes from.

I was about 15, sat in science class next to my best friend with whom I was bickering pointlessly with at the time, in the way we always loved to do, and after we'd just got our quiz results back and I'd beat him by one mark, he turns to me with a scowl and says:

"Goddamn it Katie, I swear the only time you ever get any work done is if you're pissed off."

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Top 10 Glastonbury '14 Moments



So, as you may have seen me bombarding my social media channels, I have just come back from my second ever Glastonbury Festival! Last year I found the experience far too monumental and overwhelming to put into words, so I summed it up in a Top 10 Moments post, which you can find here.

And so I thought what better than to do the same for this year!

Monday, 30 June 2014

The Blessed Curse of Understanding Life


I remember it was late on New Years Eve when I was thirteen years-old, when my long partied-out Uncle drunkenly slurs to me;

"How in god's name did you get to be so wise for just a kid?'

And I think that was the first of many times in my life that I realised I'm actually probably a little bit crazy.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

I Choose To Be Alive












"You put too much pressure on yourself."

You tell me,

"Have patience, you don’t have to do everything now.",

“You have so much time to do that when you are older.”

And I want to scream and grab you by the shoulders,

And yell,

"Do you fully, truly grasp the concept of death? Do you really understand that we are completely unaware and defenseless against this ‘thing’ that is indisputably, inevitably going to happen to every single last one of us, in which we just stop being?

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Great Blogging Dread

(source)

One thing I've come to realise lately, is that blogging is a very strange and very different world.

I recently took a step back from being a blogger, and in the process, realised some even stranger, and dare I say... scarier things about the blogosphere.

Because after spending the past year and a half feeling rather content with my own little corner of the internet, this sensation had begun to creep up on me slowly and surely, and before I could even recognise what was happening, it had gripped onto me tight.

It had got me.


The Great Blogging Dread.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Silver Perspective






(Photo source) 

I have been in some incredibly pensive moods as of late.

Forgive me if I sound a little self-centered, 

But sometimes I feel my thoughts are positively architectural.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Blogging & The Social Media Delusion


There's nothing quite like a dose of heartbreak to force you to reassess every single aspect of your life, huh?

This past fortnight has been very strange territory for me.

I shan't elude to the finer details and apologies in advance for the unnecessary melodramatics, but it feels as though in a matter of seconds, before I could even really realise what was going on, a raging house fire has torn through my home, a home full of light and loveliness and beauty, and destroyed everything in reach of it's sickeningly all-consuming reach. 

And now I am left on my knees in a black smoking mass, a tiny handful of non-charred possessions cupped in my limp hand.

In the briefest of moments my life seems to have become so dramatically different, and it's almost impossible to get my head around.

But this post is not about love and loss - there are some things better left unwritten.

This post is about those small little items in my metaphorical hand, and the one loomingly dangerous thing in the other.

Friday, 2 May 2014

#ScarpheliaNYC Postcard Project


So in case you haven't noticed already, I've just got back from New York, and have been a little bit excitable sharing all my pictures, videos, outfits, stories and posts with you! This post will now mark the start of the main and final posts about my trip and then I promise I'll shut up about it haha.


So without further ado, it's time to talk about something which has truly excited my bones.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Becoming a Failure For a Better Future


When I was younger, I used to have the same recurring nightmare. 

As most children do, from a very young age I was unfortunately bestowed with a deathly fear of the dark, and for me, this phobia seemed to manifest itself in the most haunting manner. 

Night after night, whilst still asleep and within my dream, I'd wake up. 

I'd feel this suffocating, fluid blackness heavy against my limbs and my chest, crushing the air out of my lungs and almost stinging this sense of fear into my very skin. The dark would press heavy against my temples, and my eyes would stare wildly, seeing nothing. And every night I'd fight so desperately to escape it. 

Now as an adult, I know this was sleep paralysis, but as a little kid, you can imagine this was scary as BALLS.

Monday, 7 April 2014

I, The Author of My Days


I want to create beauty.

For so long I've felt lost and afraid of the future, endlessly worrying that I have no plan, my end goal too unattainable to be little more than a dream.

But four days ago, sat in the Gatherly offices, completely off guard, it hit me with full brute force. 

If the inside of my mind were reality, the sky would've ripped open and the ground began to quake, sending objects flying and people fleeing as potted plants and various office paraphernalia began to shower the frantic room.

But this was reality, and sitting (mostly) dignified on that black leather sofa, quietly listening to the illuminating words of Tash and the Gatherly staff, the only clue I could give as to the monumental epiphany occurring inside my brain was the agitated jiggling of my foot and the small excited tremble in my smile.