illustrated moment

making sense with words and pictures


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My quiet blogging voice

im quiet voice

Hello, hello, hello…

It’s been a while…How many blog posts have started with such solemn words?

I want to throw my boring excuses at you – yep, how work has taken over my life, how I’m concentrating on my survival skills of eating and drinking during my ‘free’ moments – but let’s face it, those are such lame excuses, because absolutely everyone is busy, and they still manage to lead an exciting existence.

So I’m going to offer you a hot cup of virtual tea and a seat across the table from me – let’s talk.

Does blogging ever become difficult for you?

Sure, sometimes you have zero inspiration – nothing excites you enough to write it down – but sometimes you have great ideas yet something inexplicable stops you from acting on them. I have been having moments like these, and I am beginning to understand why…

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: every blog has a particular voice.

Some are humorous, some are cynical, some are informative but most are unique. The author usually has specific way of interpreting a situation, and when they write they reveal a part of their thought process. They begin to bond with the people they interact with, through comments and likes, and before they know it they establish their blogging voice.

My voice on this blog is informal – I like recounting parts of my life with you, just as I would if you were sitting opposite me and we were having tea – maybe that’s why my writing is not very awesome…hmm…

When I learn a lesson I write a post, not because I want to teach you the same lesson like a cruel governess, but because I’m sharing a piece of my heart. When I observe something interesting, I want to tell someone about it – and so my wonderful readers become my best friends who hear all about it.

Having such an informal take on this blog has been tremendously helpful when I’ve had to deal with the dips in mood – especially on rainy days! However, when your usual voice is lighthearted, very-unserious and plain gibberish at times, you can find yourself being very quiet when Life requires you to be less Sesame Street and more Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

That’s what’s been happening with me. With exams hurtling towards me, I’ve had to eat into my free time in order to stay on top of things, which has caused my absence from the blogosphere – imagine a sad pouting face…

I’ve not been able to work on my extra-curricular projects, which bring me so much joy (because I love procrastination so much!) – and that has been super frustrating. I’ve gone from being creative and bouncy to a really sad nerd with my head buried in heavy textbooks.

But I’ve decided to raise my blogging voice – I’m raising it at myself and the shouting is quite therapeutic – so bear with me if the upcoming posts are…different…to what you’re used to seeing here. I’m going to need your epic support in the coming months as I try to regain some balance to my life!

Looking forward to our next chat – a bit too excitedly!

 

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Simplify the complexified

im simple

 

Life is complex – BAM! Too much philosophy for you to handle right there!

It’s naturally curvy, with its delightful ups and eye-rolling lows. It’s a journey each and every single person has to trod along, regardless of the weather. Now why don’t we put all the metaphorical talk to aside? Let’s have a heart to heart.

I am currently in a place in my life where I must face some hard truths. It’s not all sad – after all, a serious reflection should be scheduled in every so often to keep life on a positive path – but it’s still a challenge. Having worked as hard as I did at school before the summer break, my mind was craving the freedom of a timetable-less life. Once the last exam was sat, and the final results were delivered and celebrated – I just couldn’t stop smiling at all the potential projects I was so eager to get on with!

I wanted to kick-start the illustrated health videos, I wanted to get back into the wonderful rhythm of blogging again, I wanted to finish off a book I had started writing the year before, I wanted to sew and knit, I wanted to learn a language, I wanted to create, invent and energise. As you can see, my brain was on fire – but I was okay at that point. When I discover a new project (whether I create it from scratch or it pops into my head one night and nags my soul until I give in) my heart beats that much faster. I tend to fall in love with my numerous projects, caring so deeply for each one to the point of slight insanity.

So off I went to animate videos, blogging, writing a book, and attempting all the things I had been eagerly awaiting. Unfortunately, I have come to understand the real meaning of stretching yourself too thin – instead of feeling energised and excited, I began to feel disappointed and frustrated – because I was trying to do 100 things at once, with the same level of enthusiasm and my efforts weren’t producing the immediate results I wanted. So I moaned and whined for a short moment.

Then I decided it was time to face the music. I made a list – yes, I made a real list, handwritten on some paper. I placed all of my great project ideas onto it – without a priority designation. This piece of paper got messy – by the end of it all you couldn’t decipher the language used beneath the energetic scribbling – but it was my solution.

I decided right there and then that my main focus would have to be this blog and Illustrated Health. Given that the summer is officially over and I’m now in the final year of my studies, I won’t have the luxury of time and energy to throw around frivolously. Some sacrifices had to be made, although they are only temporary, because believe me when I say that I will be creating an even bigger list of stuff to do for next summer!

My little moment had me thinking how complex life already is – we all have so many responsibilities upon our shoulders, and yet we can find even more things to add to our load. Creating, investing, learning and exploring are not bad things – they are wonderful things – but we must do them at the right time. We all want to enhance our lives, living it to the max, embracing it with all our might – but sometimes keeping it simple is the best thing we could do, to ensure that our efforts are fruitful and our hearts are content.

And with all that, I wish you a wonderful day!


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A one-sided conversation with a busy person

im busy

You don’t have time – I know. Life is busy happening and won’t wait around for you, so you must keep up to its pace, or else you will be left behind – trust me, I get it.

When was the last time you did something at your own pace? Was there ever a time?

Possibly, when you were a baby. You cried out when you wanted something – often food. You enjoyed sleeping, giggling and making a mess just for the sake of it.

Before you knew it, school started. Suddenly, you had to be up by a certain time in the morning, fall asleep by a certain time in the night – and even food was rolled out on a set schedule. Sure you spent your early years as a student of play, but soon the colourful toys were replaced by standardised tests to standardise you. You didn’t catch on immediately but you were being funnelled into a life defined by deadlines and performance.

And now you’re here, reading this. You don’t really have time for it – I’m still aware of that fact. But you’ve decided to stop by today, so here’s a hello to you!

Today is made up of 24 hours. You’ve made time for sleeping and dreaming. You know you will always make time for eating. But the rest of the hours that are left for you to play around with are often filled up by you thinking about what you need to get done – not necessarily doing it all, but definitely making a huge list of it all. The reality is on a day-to-day basis, you are unlikely to use every single hour working away to shrink your professional looking to-do list. Yes, yes, you are very busy and there’s just so much to do – but the thing is, there will always be so much to do which will inevitably keep you busy. I hope you don’t think that life is defined by a tick-sheet and deadlines, because there is more to you, but you won’t be able to see it if you aren’t looking for it.

Do you remember the last time someone you cared about asked you to join them for a day out? An entire day doing nothing! No, no, no that won’t do, you can’t afford to waste time like that – so you told yourself. Then you turned to that loved one and politely rejected their offer, you promised to reschedule and you explained that you hate being so busy all the time.

What you didn’t realise in that self-centred moment was the hand that this other human being was holding out to you. They wanted to spend an entire day with you – talking, laughing, enjoying and exploring – but what you saw was a waste of time.

You see, when you create an infinitely long to-do list, whether it’s in your mind or on paper, you peek into the possible future and then do some mental arithmetic. Dividing up the vaguely calculated time you have until your wishy-washy deadlines by the number of tasks you must accomplish, you begin to sense that your time is incredibly precious – and people will have to wait.

I’m going to burst your bubble. You are being lazy. How can something be more valuable than someone? Of course you have to work hard, make money, pass exams and run tedious errands – so does 8 billion other people. You let your unrealistic list of tasks build up in your mind and exhaust you from the inside out. When you do get an hour to yourself, you feel too tired to bring someone else into your picture – keep going like this and it will be a lonely portrait. It’s time to change. Value life above menial tasks.

Make a date with your best friend – time spent together is an investment for the future of your dreams. Spend time with your family – hear what they have to say and be interested in what they have been doing. Put in the effort for your loved ones – if they can’t come to you, then it’s time you go to them. Treat your loved ones with the respect, support and crazy charm that only you can dish out.

Building relationships is the true hard work of this world. Now go out there and reciprocate the love that you have been shown!


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Revealing a part of my secret identity

im medical student

Who am I?

Who are you?

Who is anyone?

Big, serious questions which might allow me to get away with sounding super philosophical.

Just as I promised in my previous post, I will be making some sweet revelations on illustrated moment  – such excitement!

Today’s big reveal is: I am NOT Batman. Sigh. However much I try to make it happen, it’s just not happening. Even though I’m fully capable of making an awesome costume with the cape and all – I don’t yet have a couple of the vital skills needed to be the best superhero, such as ultimate fitness, super strength and a couple of billion dollars. I also don’t have the time to be the Dark Knight – during the day I am chained to a university and during the night I am chained to a desk succumbing to the weight of textbooks. My current occupation both day and night is being a medical student – that’s about as far as possible from Batman you could get.

Illustrated moment is my escape. It’s my corner of the internet where I can scribble a quick drawing and then write far too excessively in an effort to coax some love out of you! This blog is personal to me. Through it I have been documenting my smiley ups and my annoying lows, and it has been an odd source of therapy for the crazy within me. And readers like you just make everything 100 times better! That is why you have given me the push to take off my imaginary but seriously amazing mask and reveal a part of my identity. This piece of information will become even more relevant in the next couple of months as I continue to explain each and every single project I am excitedly taking on!

You may think that passing exams and completing the penultimate year at medical school will mean that I get a huge holiday away from everything to do with work – but you and I are both incredibly wrong.

I get about 3 weeks off before I start a work placement in a laboratory, which will extend until the beginning of the new term. The best part of this placement is that it’s voluntary – yet I’m still unsure if I made the right decision by choosing to stay in London instead of flying off to some tropical island surrounded by a coral reef so glorious it probably doesn’t exist. At some point during medical school you are encouraged to explore an area of the field further to see if you would like a career in it – it’s called an Elective.

Now I know I will get carried away with the excitement of unknowingly mixing up colourful test tubes and praying hard that the people I work with don’t suss out that I really don’t know much – but I do want to keep a small record of the couple of months in my life where I get to play around as a lab rat, so I created a much less majestic blog for the experience. If you have any interest in reading about my adventure click here to join in on the nerdy fun.

If you wish to stay tuned on to illustrated moment only there will be no hard feelings – how can that be a thing between virtual friends?

Oh, and I have been making most of the wonderful sun – although I don’t have a healthy tan to show for it – I never tan. Stupid skin type. Stupid genetics.


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I’m excitedly waving hello to you!

im backkk

Hasn’t it been a while?!

Excuse me while I get excited about returning to illustrated moment. After a month long hiatus I am super-duper happy to return to blogging!

So much has happened! So much has changed! So much has stayed the same!

First order of business: exams have been completed and exams have been passed! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! So now that a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders I can get back to all the things which excite and inspire me.

Second order of business: I have a long list of projects I want to kick-start over the next few months, which I will begin sharing with all you lovely people who never fail to show support and love! As you have probably already gathered from my excessive use of exclamation marks, I am in an amazing mood. It’s always invigorating to have new ideas, new visions and new horizons to work towards. It’s only during these times that hard work isn’t tiring. I refuse to give you precious souls a headache by reeling off all the weird and wonderful adventures I will be inviting you to come along with me in this one post. I’ll let the updates trickle in with each post so it’s easier to digest.

Third order of business: the accounts on Twitter and Linkedin have been shut down by yours truly. I have never really been terribly good at social media and I was failing to do the necessary updating and connecting, which is required for such websites to add something of value to the blog. Please hold your horses, the Facebook page will be kept alive for you to like, comment and share all to your heart’s content. However, I have come to the conclusion that I will be personally reaching out to all of you wonderful people who have subscribed and agreed to follow this blog. Details of that will follow shortly! (Excitement *heavy breathing*)

So in conclusion – Hello once again, it is great to be back to regular blogging, I’m super excited about the upcoming projects, I will let you all know shortly about my plans to dominate the world, I will be gently stalking my subscribers/followers really soon by email in a real effort to hear what you have to say – so much better than any social networking platform, right?

*Excitedly waving hello to you*

(wave back?)

(…please?)

(you make me feel like I’m talking to the thin air!)

(Respond, dammit!)


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Is my time really in my possession?

It’s no secret that I have been on a roller coaster of highs and lows as I battle the stress that future exams inject into my life. Whereas our American neighbours across the modest pond that is the Atlantic Ocean have their ‘finals’ in the April/May portion of the year, over here in the UK our torture is more prolonged – and my personal exam-doomsday is scheduled for a couple of weeks in June.

In an effort to become a super-efficient studying machine I dedicated an entire evening to formulating my revision timetable for the next 7 weeks – yes, 7 long weeks of every single minute being accounted for – so unnatural.

Now that I am out of options, with no acceptable reason to procrastinate without risking epic failure, I have become more possessive over my time. Gone are the days of mindlessly watching every possible show on Netflix (because my free trial happens to be over…not because I have impeccable self-control to give it up voluntarily), I am currently fixated on making the most out of every hour in the day. But such focus (yeah, right…) comes at a price my friends and family are finding a bit too expensive. Firstly, my phone is severely neglected. There’s no energy left in my brain after a day of crying over confusing textbooks, to reciprocate the attentions of those who love me. Although I don’t do it intentionally, I’m not sure everyone else understands that. Secondly, I don’t do anything ‘fun’ – but again, I don’t think that everyone believes me. I spend every waking moment either actively studying or thinking about studying – by any standard, my life is super dull. Thirdly, what little time I get to myself is so precious to me that I turn into a growling beast trying to protect it. The usually relaxed version of me has run off, leaving behind an uptight, frustrated and unstable version of a human being.

When you don’t have the luxury of time, any time holds a tremendous value. I’m trying to stay optimistic, after all, if things go well I will be having a very enjoyable summer being my wonderful (oh, and modest) self again. But my plans would be in jeopardy if I don’t take this period of time seriously and try my best to focus. For the moment, my time is used up with activities which are really necessary but not really what I would like to do, which means that my time isn’t really mine. However, every so often I get to steal a little time for myself, and that is when I want to rest and relax – and in order to do that I have to become possessive and protective over the short spells of sanity I get. You honestly can’t blame me, can you?

 


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In the sunny spirit of things!

Hello lovely people!

How are you feeling on this fine Sunday? Is there a spring to your step? Is there a smile on your face?

I sure hope you are feeling super good today, and if you wouldn’t quite define your current mood as such, don’t worry – here’s a big virtual hug from me!

Why on earth are you feeling so chirpy? – you may find yourself asking (irritatedly or curiously) at the screen. Well, there’s no secret that sunshine makes my brain buzz with excitement – and today I woke up to find that the Sun has missed me also and is ready for a big reunion! London doesn’t get much of a Summer, majority of our year is spent battling the prolonged and miserable mixture of Autumn and Winter, so when the Sun does shine we celebrate with all our being!

The arrival of warm weather brings a smile to people’s faces and I am not excluded from this deal. With my windowsill garden growing green and tall, and creative projects lining up for the moment of freedom following exams – I have a spring in my step! The prospect of new activities on the horizon makes me enthusiastic to complete the tasks of today. Although, last weekend was a stew of unproductive guilt and time-wasting, this week has been getting better. I made it on to the trains in the nick of time, I got into the swing of studying even when I really didn’t want to, and I was quite efficient in ticking items off of my serious long to-do list. Yes, I must admit, my body and mind was tired by the end of the week, but after a little bit of rest and quiet with the addition of glorious sunshine, I am in good spirits once again!

I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you choose to spend it! Stay happy, remember to eat plenty of fruit and wash it down with lots of water. Thanks for stopping by to read best friend!