taking photos of yourself is hard

I have missed blogging for months now but I felt I had nothing to say and I found myself focusing on writing/creation other than my blog.

That is my semi-excuse. In other words, I’m sorry.

So, let me catch you up.

  • I found out that taking photos of myself on self-timer is really difficult for me and I have no idea why. I am blaming the lens (because it definitely isn’t me…) Also, yes, the feature photo is today’s attempt at a self-portrait. It was meant to be artsy sitting behind my laptop but instead looks like Apple asked me to take down the photo so I blurred it.
  • I have found new found resilience that I didn’t know I had. I was recently told some “free advice” by a total stranger which was that I should reconsider moving to Italy because I a) have never been there, b) don’t have a job yet, c) don’t know anyone, and, d) wasn’t willing to invest into her pyramid scheme (she entirely flipped her mood once I couldn’t afford her programme). For a day and a half I replayed everything she said and kept thinking, if a stranger could say this what was my family thinking? Then I realised my family didn’t say any of this because they know I am a sensible, clever, quick-witted and hardworking person. If I can’t get a job in the city as a teacher or a waitress or a tutor or an architect I will move to the countryside and pick fruit or bake bread or muck out stables or pick olives. I will do anything to make this dream work and it really annoyed me that I let this money-driven, bitter woman affect my thoughts and dreams like that. I don’t owe her anything. (I just blocked her on IG, it took me three days to do that but the last line sold me.)
  • I love creativity and being creative. Nothing makes me happier. In case you didn’t know I am starting a digital mag called ‘Into the nebula’ which is a creative collaborative collection of content created by bloggers (if only we were called ‘cloggers’ – I love alliteration). It isn’t too late to submit so if you are a female writer/photographer/illustrator/poet/haiku-ist/anything creative I will direct you to this last post where you can find out more —> Into the nebula. I actually couldn’t/can’t believe that people are submitting/have submitted work. It blows my mind! Also, the female bloggers out there are kick-ass and I hope this will bring more people to see their work because they really deserve it.
  • I am in Christmas mode already and it is November 16th as I am writing this. I have bought my fourth Christmas themed food mag (a true sign of a Tearknee household Christmas). I have started the Christmas songs and, yes, I AM SORRY but I have watched two Christmas movies so far. I know this will be the last Christmas for a very long time that I am free of obligations and responsibilities so I am diving antlers first into it.
  • I love my family and this time of year really cements that fact into my head. It happens to also coincide with the time of year where I wish the Beckhams would ‘Daddy Warbucks’ me away from these absolute wretches! That is dramatic and yes, I am 26 so really who should be leaving who? I love my family but this time of year tests everyone in that department. That being said, I couldn’t survive without them and although I would be fit to kill them I love them very much. I would be entirely lost without them and I don’t know how I will function in Florence without them around me all the time.
  • I am starting to love my body. It has taken me twenty-something years to start but better late than sorry and, I really feel I would be sorry if I had continued the way I was going. I hated on my body so much and believe me I am still filled with disgust for it sometimes. Then there are other times where I love every ounce of myself. I love my long hair and small eyes. I love that my hips and bum are big and I allow my big stomach to be. At those moments I am happy with myself, well, not entirely but it becomes like a truce with myself. Instead of yelling internally “you’re fat, you are ugly, your hair is flat and frizzy” I think to myself “you look good today, you are working on being healthy not skinny, you are loved and deserve that, I love myself and so I should do”. I encourage you to start the self-love journey. It is bloody hard because I was so far from it but I am happy I have started. When I get the negative thoughts, I treat it with positivity – “you are ugly” is replaced with “you look great today, stop being so hard on yourself, look how far your body has brought you”. Good luck with your journey!
  • I am utterly excited for Italy. Despite that woman previously mentioned, I am excited to be in Tuscany, to drink coffee on the imaginary balcony where I imaginary live, to eat pasta and pizza, to learn to cook and to make friends/family. I will make this work and if it doesn’t I will come home and I have realised I am not a failure for that. It is the way life goes but I am prepared to succeed. I really hope it goes well. I am absolutely terrified for it but I remind myself that I am doing this for me. I am sensible, hardworking and determined. I will find a way to make this work for however long I wish it to work. I deserve good things (and so do you by the way)!
  • I love blogging but I feel a bit in flux. I don’t know what to blog about and I can’t find the motivation to do so regularly but I will figure it out. I am not putting too much pressure on it because I always want to enjoy blogging.
  • NaNoWriMo – my first ever attempt and I am enjoying it. I broke 40k words today (don’t get too excited for me, I had 30k starting this month). It is giving me something to aim for and I aim to spend the month of December editing. That will hopefully turn to more editing in January then sending it to friends and people who will read it, more editing and then potential publishers. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for reading my novel-length “I’m back!” blog post. I really hope you have a lovely weekend. Also, if you are reading this and you like the cut of my jib send me a comment or email, I would love to make some blogger friends (though after ‘cut of my jib’ you might be turned off and I entirely understand, believe me, I do). My likes are the U.S Office, Parks & Rec, The Simpsons, The I.T Crowd, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, SATC along with chocolate (don’t know how long a convo about chocolate will last but hey, I’m game), horses, Italy, moving abroad, travel, books, writing, mozzarella, bread, Brighton, YouTube, Zoe Sugg.

Honestly, if you’re up for a chat, so am I.

I NEED YOUR HELP

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I am looking for female writers, poets, photographers, illustrators, artists, embroiderers, anyone creative to create content for issue_one. Into the nebula is a new digital magazine that is filled with inspiration. It is a collabrative collective of creativity. If you are a creator please email me at lisatearknee@gmail.com and send in examples of a work, your insta or a blog/website. If we’re on the same wave length I will email you a brief for issue_one. Thank you!!

What is Into the nebula?

Into the nebula is a new digital magazine created by me in the hope of showcasing the stunning creativity that is found online. I hope to fill the mag with photography, writing, poetry, drawings, illustrations – digital and physical, embroidery, and anything else creative that I can fit on a digital page all under a theme. It is a biannual magazine – once in winter and once in summer.

Is there criteria for submitting?

There are a few things; you must be over 18. You can be from anywhere. It must be high quality – scanned or photographed well (good lighting, composition, clear image) when sending the final product but, please don’t submit work specifically to be printed in the mag without me sending you an email first in relation to if you are suited or not (I don’t want to waste your time!). Once accepted, I will send you the brief for the issue and then go from there. As this is only issue one we cannot afford monetary payment but your name/social media/blog will be printed along with a small bio. Also, I will print out a physical copy for you to have if you want!

Phew, okay – anything else?

Just a thank you for even considering being part of Into the nebula. It is amazing that this project is taking flight. I have seen the potential of so many female bloggers/artists/writers etc and I have always wanted to compile them all together in a mag. I am excited to work with you!

– Lisa

Quicksand

Growing up was tough; moving countries, making new friends and losing old ones, learning a new language. That was all helped by my love of television. In the words of Bart Simpson “It’s just hard not to listen to TV: it’s spent so much more time raising us than you have.”. (sorry Mam, just a joke!).

TV was everything in my household and I filled my hours watching TMNT, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Pokemon, and Postman Pat. All these shows built me up for the world. It prepared me for things going wrong, fighting adversity, and, seemingly most important, quicksand. There was nothing I was more nervous of than quicksand. I assumed it was around every corner, waiting to tempt me into its “very sturdy” looking grains of sand before devouring me into its belly. My family wouldn’t know where to look for me, there wouldn’t be a trace of me left. It felt like it was an issue in every show at one point or another. Sabrina was trapped in it while she was trying to pick between Harvey and Josh, pretty sure that Mystery Inc. (Scooby Doo) dealt with it, and I have a vague recollection of a Postman Pat episode…don’t quote me on that.

When did this vital enemy of television disappear and why do I care? I care because it haunted me. Was I ever going to be as lucky as the television I watched to find a way out? Now my problems are, well, more probable (or at least I think so). Quicksand is not such a prominent fear but replaced with equally irrational – planes, being sick, failure. Though I am not sure which I would rather face.

Actually, I do. Anything but quicksand.

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Summer 2017 – a new YouTube video

I sat back and took a look at things that have been occupying my mind during the summer. Yes, there are hot water bottles – I live in Ireland where we have a solid week of summer! Hope you enjoy my second YouTube video, I definitely don’t fully get it yet but I am getting there. Oh, and digital designer or not, thumbnails are hard…

L

Elvis

elvisElvis makes me feel like I am dreaming, like I have mastered lucid dreaming. He makes me see the whole live band playing to his left but they are in my kitchen. The hazy clouds fold in and I am sitting centre watching all this develop. He makes me feel like anything is possible if you think about it enough. He makes the world seem upright when it is most definitely upside down. He makes me believe that my soulmate is just around the corner if I just took the long way home. He sings away the pain all while doubling it. The background music allows me to think I have synesthesia for the length of the song. The colours swirl around me in black and white but I know if I was there in person they would be in technicolor. I feel every emotion possible and inevitably burst at the chorus telling me to some things are meant to be. The soft clop behind the band keeps time and I have to sit on my hands to stop myself from clapping along. He makes me want to be able to jive or do anything that isn’t just sitting in front of my laptop; entirely passive. The playlist ends and the band and Elvis fade. I get a rude awakening back to reality when colours are normal and sound is basic.

Autumn

Autumn is my favourite season and I anticipate it with great vigour. I plan on writing a sonnet or ode to autumn but that will come at a later date. Before winter sets upon me I want to set goals for the next few months.

SELF CARE GOALS

  1. Drink/make lots of hot drinks – learn how to make a chai tea latte.
  2. Carve a pumpkin and regret everything while scooping out seeds.
  3. Watch a Halloween movie at least once a week in October.
  4. Walk in the crunchy layer of fallen leaves everyday. Note the growing piles of leaves.
  5. Buy/light lots of cosy candle that essentially cleanse my mind and soul.

BLOG GOALS

  1. Reach 100 followers on Instagram by winter.
  2. Reach 70 followers on my blog & reach 500 views on my blog.
  3. Reach 50 followers on Bloglovin.
  4. Post 2-3 times a week.
  5. Post a YouTube video every Monday.

MENTAL HEALTH GOALS

  1. Meditate/mindfulness every day for 10-30 minutes.
  2. Walk everyday.
  3. Journal everyday.
  4. Add to the gratitude list in my journal.
  5. Push myself a little everyday.

CAREER GOALS

  1. Finish TEFL and start teaching English online.
  2. Get blog going.
  3. Finish my manuscript & start editing.
  4. Research Masters program.
  5. Keep saving!

Beginnings

I started a YouTube channel…!

I created my first video and I would really appreciate it if you checked it out. It is a new project that I have called Emotionally Charged where I discuss my mental health and all topics related. My first video is an introduction to me and my experience with mental health issues. I really hope you enjoy it!

 

L

Tuscan dream – creative writing

After months of planning I finally make the move to Italy. I fly over with some nerves but overcome with excitement. The three hour flight goes quick and then I experience my favourite part of flying – taking that step from the plane onto Italian soil. The heat hits me like a wall and I can’t contain my smile. Pisa airport is small so I pass through security almost immediately. The conveyor belt starts and I take a seat, since the plane was full I know it will take a while. I pull out my small makeup bag and start applying some mascara and eyeliner sure it will be sweated off in moments. My blue bag appeared and I make my way through the people standing there. I’m staying for months so it’s heavy when I pick it up, slightly unsure how it wasn’t over the weight limit. With my roller suitcase behind me I emerge into arrivals to see my cousin there. We walk out into the warmth and for a second I am incredulously happy. The next few days are filled with eating, waking, speaking, and house hunting.