A letter to my future self

Hey guys,

So this morning as a form of procrastination, I re-read all of my posts to see if there were spelling mistakes etc as I was probably too lazy to do it when I first published them (I am going to work on this). I came across my post, A Series of Unfortunate Events, where I wrote about a bucket list I wanted to achieve before I turned 20. I am going to be 21 in August and I just realized that I had done very few of the things I wanted to get done for last summer. So here is me ticking off another thing on my list.

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

Dear future Kathy,

As you write this, you are sitting in the basement of the ORB in UCC. You are listening to Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill and smiling at the lines, “But I was younger then, take me back to when We found weekend jobs, when we got paid We’d buy cheap spirits and drink them straight Me and my friends have not thrown up in so long, oh how we’ve grown But I can’t wait to go home”. I don’t know when you are going to re-read this. I hope you have achieved all that you want to. I hope you got that summer job in the bank that you wanted to. That you made it to Alicante.

I hope that you are no longer sick, that despite having a rough start to 2017 that now you are ok. I hope that you have stopped hurting yourself, remember that scratch you got off the briar in Gran’s house about 10 years ago? That scarred you. you scar too easily to add more to your collection yourself.

I hope that no matter where you end up after this hellish year of college, you are happy. I hope that the people you want to support you do, without questioning it. I hope that you do you, you can do this. Remember, you are who you choose to become. Don’t let anyone change your mind and tell you otherwise. As I sit here and write this, my minds is all over the place, I don’t know where I’m going to be in two weeks time. I don’t know if I’ll be living at home for the summer, if I’ll be in Tralee or if I’ll be in Cork. Wherever you end up, whatever you do, remember you got this girl.

No matter what you’re doing, go outside, take a walk. Ring Mum for a chat, then ring Anna. Tell them you love them. Live every day to the full. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Don’ ever let someone hurting you change how you look at love and relationships keep wearing your heart on your sleeve and don’t let anyone change that. Oh, and finish that bucket list of yours. 😛

Ok I think this went in about 15 different directions, this is a prime example of what you were like at exam time.

Lots of love,

20-year-old Kathy.

 

 

Life gets in the way

Hey guys,

Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve uploaded. I came on today just to have a quick look at my stats and whatnot and it was only then I realized how longs its been! Life really has been busy the last few weeks. That being said I haven’t done anything except go to college, work and the doctor.. I don’t even know where time goes anymore.

So a quick life update, I have had about 15- 20 doctors appointments since I hurt my shoulder back in February. I have had two finger infections, a sinus infection and have had to have bloods taken. When I went to the doctor about having a finger infection (the first time) she told me that my body was basically falling apart because of stress. She also tole me I should get my bloods done once I was finished the course of antibiotics I was on that she prescribed me. A week later,  I was back in the health center  again to see the doctor to get my bloods done. When I was there I complained of a sore throat and she started tapping my face and came to the conclusion I had a sinus infection, resulting in more antibiotics (if you guessed it you get a virtual prize :P). When I was there she was asking about my general well-being/ my course (I go to the Student Health Clinic at my University). It came up in conversation that I had a massive panic attack the day before so she referred me to the counselling service in the same clinic.

A few days later, I was in the library studying for a Spanish test (I know, student of the year award goes to me) when I got a phone call from my doctor saying that some of my bloods had come back funny and that I needed to come into them first thing the following morning. When I arrived the following morning I was a bit concerned because I didn’t know what was going on. I went into the doctor anyway and she explained that my vitamin b12 levels were half of what they should be which explained why I had been sick so much recently and why I have absolutely no energy. To fix this, I get to get a series of b12 injections. There are 5 of them :O I have had 2 already so only another 3 to go!

The following day saw my trip to the counselor. I literally went in and started talking to him and just started bawling crying.. which I continued to do for the entire session. He told me things about myself and my course that I knew but didn’t want to admit to. He also helped me to come up for a backup plan if my exams don’t go to plan in a couple of weeks time. I’m not going to share that plan with anyone just yet as it is a secret and I don’t know if I’ll need to implement it just yet.. That being said, I’m kinda excited about it 🙂

Other than doctors appointments I have been really pissed off at the whole Bus Eireann strike thing. Yeah most people won’t know what that is so its all g 😛

I would also like to thank people who read this blog. When I logged on today I have people reading from Vietnam, Malta, Russia, Portugal, Spain, USA, Canada.. I’m Irish so it’s amazing to see my ramblings and rants being read by people from so far away (and from closer to home too)

Anyway I’m off to get an award so I shall talk to ye soon,

As always, Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

Favorite March Music

Hey guys,

So I decided that I was ready for some commitment in my life and took the grown up plunge to invest in Spotify Premium.. Yay meeee! 😛 Since I took the plunge, I have gone through 3 pairs of earphones (anyone have any recommendations for good ones that don’t break?). In fairness none of the earphones were all that expensive and I could probably do with buying a proper pair but ain’t nobody got time for that.

So in addition to me suddenly having endless music at my fingertips and having an immense amount of college work to do I have spent A LOT of the last month plugged in. Here are some of my favorites from the month of March 🙂

1. ÷ (Divide), Ed Sheeran

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely obsessed with this album. I fell in love with ‘Castle on the Hill’ when it first came out and couldn’t wait for the rest of the album. He has such a variety of types of songs and music on the album that you never get bored listening to it. I also love Galway Girl (it night be the Irish girl in me) and Nancy Mulligan (this definitely appeals to the romantic in me). Way to go Ed, this album is fantastic 😀

2. Water Under the Bridge, Adele. 

I think all of Adele’s stuff is great but I love this song!! It’s a song about fighting for what you want and who you love. Plus its really catchy..

3. El Mismo Sol, Alvaro Soler.

I came across this Spanish gents music while in Madrid last summer due to his single Sofia being played EVERY.SINGLE.TIME the radio was turned on. That said I love Sofia too but some things can be slightly overplayed (I think my family will agree with me on this one seeing as they all know the words to it and they don’t speak Spanish…). My 5-year-old in Spain taught me the words and I have video footage of her doing it 😛 She never failed to entertain. Anyway I went slightly off topic.. but yeah.. El Mismo Sol is great. The title  translates as ‘The Same  my interpretation of the song is that it’s about unity and how we are all under the same sun.. there are bits about love in there too but I like the last line, ‘Aquí todos estamos bajo el mismo sol’ meaning “Here we all are, under the same sun.”

4. Phil Collins.. In general

So I’m a big Phil Collins fan. My music taste is quite varied and probably slightly weird but as my good friend one told me, when it comes to music, everyone has different tastes 🙂 I love the music from Tarzan and that is how I fell in love with more of his music 🙂

5. Take A Bow, Rihanna/ Love Song, Sara Bareilles

Some serious throwback songs that ended up on my discover playlist 😀

 

So this was a bit of an unusual post for me but I have been writing an essay for college all day and this is what I was listening to.. 😛

Hope you enjoyed,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

(P.S. here is the link to my March playlist on Spotify… https://open.spotify.com/user/11141787897/playlist/56tSudORfEJYMmldcrZihY)

 

My top 5 things to do in Belgium

Hey guys,

So my last few posts have been more about the disaster that is my life and not about the traveling adventures that I originally started this blog to post about. There will probably be more personal posts but this one is all about Belgium 🙂

When I was in school, I studied French and I wanted to improve it so I thought about going to France for a summer to work when I was 16. I did some research and discovered that I wouldn’t be paid for working in France due to employment laws so a friend of my mums, a French teacher, suggested that I go to Belgium. As it happens, the place where I worked for the summer when I was 14 had a sister place in the French-speaking region of Belgium so off I went. I spent 3 and a half weeks working in the kitchen of a hospitality/ residential conference center about 45 mins outside Brussels. I  worked hard and I was working 5-5.5 days a week so I didn’t get to travel enough as I would have liked.. So I went back for longer the following year 😛

I will always have fond memories of Belgium. I made some amazing friends there, some Mexican, Guatemalan, Spanish and even a really good Irish friend. I also had my fair share of accidents there 😛 I had one really accident prone day when,in the morning, while cutting an onion, I nearly took the top off my finger.. That afternoon I then had an argument with a gate and the gate won, thus resulting in me getting a spike of it through my foot.. Fun times 😛 There was no major damage, just crutches for a few weeks, serious antibiotics and painkillers.. Twas grand 🙂 It happened on a Sunday and I was planning on flying home the Tuesday so I was grand.

Despite my spending so much time working, I got to do a significant amount of traveling. Here are mt top 5 places to go in Belgium.

  1. Grand Place, Brussels.

Both times I was in Belgium it was in June/July, Grand Place was one of the first places I visited and I was blown away by how beautiful it is. It is surrounded by Gothic buildings, including the town hall. Every two years in August, an enormous “flower carpet” is set up in the Grand Place for a few days. A million colorful  flowers are set up in patterns, covering the entire square.

Grand Place

2. Manneken Pis

My friend Ruth really didn’t like this guy but I’d recommend checking him out, especially if there is something going on in Belgium at the time. When I was there the second time, it was during the last soccer world cup so he was dressed up as a soccer player. In reality, he is a tiny bronze statue who pees into the fountains basin.

3. Bruges and Gent

These two towns are absolutely spectacular! I only managed to get to them both once but they are stunning. Both are on built on canals and they, much like Venice are used to get around on.The streets are narrow and cobbled and old. They are both just so beautiful.

4. Leuven/ Louvain

The thing about places in Belgium is that they have names in both French and Dutch. Louvain is a university city much like the one where I live in Ireland. It is quite easy ti tell when the hour is up as the streets get busier with students moving from class to class. Myself and Ruth spent about 3 hours sitting in McDonald’s in Louvain next to the window on the first floor just watching people move through the streets. It is another lovely city, possibly my second favorite, my all time favorite is still to come. 😛 It was Louvain where I finally found my Yves Rocher shop that I had spent weeks looking for. Yves Rocher is a French cosmetics company that I came across in France. I love their stuff but you can’t get it in Ireland so I always make sure to stock up when I’m abroad.

Leuven city hallLeuven

5. Antwerp

Antwerp is where I want to be proposed to. It is my favorite place in Belgium. The first time I was there, I was walking down the boardwalk with my Mexican friends Isabel and Nancy and I saw a couple in front of us with their kids and it was at that moment when I decided that I wanted that to be me. Me and my over active imagination saw that man proposing to his girlfriend on that same boardwalk, them going there to have their wedding photos taken and then going there with their kids. As their two little girls ran ahead of them, with us still walking behind then, the couple wrapped their arms around each other and kept walking. Yes, I am a completely hopeless romantic but I wanted that. My friend Blaithin has been told to inform any future men in my life of this wish of mine 😛 Antwerp is also famous for its diamonds. When you come out of the train station (which is spectacular as well) there is an entire street of diamond shops. The best place to window shop 😀 In my opinion, it is a must visit for anyone going to Belgium.Oh and they have a chocolate shop that sells ‘Chocolate Pills’ because.. Duhh chocolate fixes everything.. 😛

antewrp docAntwerp Choc pills

So I think I turned my top 5 places to go in Belgium into a ‘why I love these places’ but i hope you enjoyed reading it. I had so much fin looking through all my old photos and re-reading my travel diary to remind me of all my adventures. The most important thing I took away from my trips in  Belgium are my friendships. I was working with Isabel and Nancy. They are both from Monterrey, Mexico and I am still in frequent communication with Isa who is currently studying a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile. I knew Ruth before we went away together, we had met a few times but we wouldn’t have been friends. Her french teacher (the friend of my mums) encouraged her to come with me and now I know, no matter what, Ruth is there for me. She will be at my wedding.

Ok I might have gotten too deep, but hey, I’m an honest person,

Thanks for reading,

All my love,

Kathy ❤

Studying, Stress and a Subluxed shoulder

Hey guys,

My apologies for not uploading sooner, I have had a kinda crazy month! College for the last month has been nuts! Between RAG week (where I was really boring and didn’t even go out once) and study my time-table has been pretty full. I also managed to injure myself at work so that’s always fun.

So during the summer I had two exam repeats as I failed them the first time I took them. That couple with a bad ending to my au-pairing experience left me in a bad mental space. I felt worthless and genuinely didn’t want to wake up in the morning after falling asleep. I got into a bad routine of not going to bed until around 2 am and not waking until around noon. I would then spend the entire day sitting on my bed on my laptop studying for my exams. It was bad and it was a contributing factor to how I was feeling. Things were also not good with my parents at the time, partially due to them not liking my then boyfriend and partially due to me coming home early from Spain. All these factors added up led me to have daily panic attacks and to my self harming. Obviously, none of this was ideal. This led me to go on and fail one of the repeats I had to sit. Once again, not ideal. I found that once my boyfriend and I broke up in October, I felt much better. I was able to focus more on uni and work and my mental health improved. I was on an upwards stretch until I hit a bump recently. The month of March is crazy for me, I had an exam on the 9th, an assignment (3000 words) due for the 27th and a Spanish test worth 30% of this years grade on the 29th. It’s a lot of pressure by itself but when you have your mother on your back EVERY FRIKIN DAY it makes things even worse. Recently things haven’t been so great for me. Stress levels are high and I started self harming again. I haven’t in about three weeks and the marks on my arms are healing but they are still there.

I haven’t told most people about how I’m feeling, mostly just one of my best friends, who I regret telling because he gets so worried about me. I don’t know why I’m writing this but it feels kinda good to let it all out and put an order on things. I still haven’t told anyone about this blog so I won’t be spilling my secrets to my friends and family. I have 5 exams coming up at the end of April/ start of May and I am absolutely terrified of failing. I can’t take much more of feeling like a failure, despite me spending nearly all my free time in the library since this semester began.

In addition to this, I haven’t been able to keep up going to the gym which is my stress relief due to injury. At the start of February, I sprained my ankle coming out of a lecture. It took about 2 weeks to recover and I was looking forward to being able to go to the gym. One Monday at work, I was all excited to go to the gym the following day when I was carrying a crate of beer and suddenly I had a crippling pain in my shoulder. I immediately dropped the crate (Onto a keg so it didn’t have far to go) and went in search of my manager. When I found her, I explained what happened and she was all concerned but there was  nothing she could do and she just reckoned I’d pulled a muscle. The following day, I went to the medical center in college and went to see the physio who diagnosed my shoulder as being subluxed. She said basically, my collar-bone popped out-of-place and back into place spontaneously. Fun right? Basically its just been one thing after another recently. I now have an infected finger cause stress is quite literally making my body break down. Yayyy.. Another prescription!

Anyway, Thanks for reading guys,

See you soon,

Kathy

4 weeks in..

Hey guys,

How is everyone dong today? Me? I’m a zombie.. This is what happens when I get 5 hours sleep after working an 8 hour shift but apparently going to college  and getting an education is important? Who knew right 😛 Ok, I joke, I just found it really hard to peel myself from my bed this morning. I have been pretty good at keeping up on my college work this semester, that being said I do only have about 11 hours a week.. 🙂 Yay me!

I have developed a couple of good habits during the start of this semester. Firstly I was back in the library on my first week. You might say ‘But it’s the first week back, what do you have to be doing on week 1?’.. Last year, I would have agreed with you, as I was so busy over the Christmas break, I had loads of research to do with regards to my Erasmus next year, if you haven’t read my last post, The Alicante Diaries: Flight Booked, please be a bae and check it out!! I had to research classes and calendars and look for accommodation and all that fun stuff. I think coming to the library week 1 really set me up for the semester. I now have my favorite computer in the whole building (trust me its a big library) and I’m able to come here and study and charge my phone as its right next to a plug! Winning at life so I am! 😛

So another good habit I have developed has been to start printing my lecture notes! Last semester a number of the lecturers were really sound and brought the printed notes to class but this semester it’s up to us, so I decided I’d better be a good student and print things! Today alone I spent about €15 on notes, a fancy accordion type folder and a mini stapler (because every girl needs a pink mini stapler)!! I can use these notes now to make me focus and keep my attention during class as opposed to spending my time on Facebook… I used to bring my laptop to college but it’s such a brick that I decided that I didn’t really need it this semester and my back is thanking me for it 🙂

In addition to these things, going to the gym has been such a great thing to keep me going! I must admit that I haven’t been going quite as much as I should have been in the last week due to an old knee injury reappearing and being a general pain in the ass but hopefully I’ll be back in business by Thursday!

Anyway, I have a lecture in 25 minutes so I should probably go and get myself organised!

Write soon guys,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

 

The Alicante Diaries: Flight booked

Hey guys,

So as I am studying Spanish in University, next year, I am doing an Erasmus which means I will be going to Universidad de Alicante next year. I am really excited and I thought I might as well chronicle my adventures while I’m there.

In August, I, along with 3 class mates and another 4 people from UCC will be arriving in Spain for the year. We are required to take classes that to relate to our course, so as I am a business and Spanish student, I need to balance my subjects equally between Spanish and various business subjects, be they law, economics, tourism or anything else related to the business world that I find interesting and can make it to. I also need to take some Spanish language classes which will be interesting seeing as my Spanish is currently pretty dismal.

A friend of mine is in his 4th year of Spanish in the same Uni as me and he spent last year studying in Mexico which is really cool. I was considering going to Mexico but if I was there, I would be there for the year. whereas when in Spain, I can come home for Christmas and the odd weekend here and there if I really wanted to. It’s a bit more peace of mind being only 3 hours away as opposed to being on the opposite side of the world.

I have already begun looking at places to stay when I go over! I have my flight booked for August 29th and the excitement is starting!

Write soon with more updates,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤