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“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got…”

21 Oct


  • TIME: 11.15
  • PLACE: Mah bedroom! S. UK
  • MUSIC: 30 Seconds to Mars, Pendulum, P!nk, Hoobastank, etc (General mix to get me motivated… ^_^;;)
  • MOOD: Feeling reasonably boss.


I’ve noticed in life a certain very interesting and relatively common pattern of human behaviour – People, sick of an aspect of (if not all of) themselves and their lives, proclaim changes they have “put into motion” that (once fully established) will ultimately better their lives and change them into “new” people. They then fail to properly implement afore stipulated changes and just end up reverting to their old selves. Then, after a short interval they try to “get back on track” again. Rinse and repeat.

This pattern of behaviour can go on for years and years and is the equivalent to treading water – It just seems like nobody gets anywhere in life.

Most unfortunately I am also a chronic sufferer of this condition (s’probably the reason why I ended up doing A-levels for 4 years+…).

Every year is the same – “This year, things are going to change.”, “I’m going to make a plan and stick to it, then finally I can start winning at life!!”, “I’m going to achieve X, Y and Z before the end of this year and prove my full potential”, etc etc.

Now i’m at the stage where (when I make such plans) I recognise I have good intentions and that if I DO actually succeed and “pull it off” it WOULD be amazing, but at the same time I can’t help but have this awful sinking feeling. That feeling you have when that little person in the back of your mind is telling you quite succinctly (not to mention bluntly) “once a fuck up, always a fuck up”.

But rather than backing off and sinking into my own little dark corner of the world, defeated and deflated i’ve started to fight back. Because, to be honest, that little person is starting to get on my tits.

It’s like a small child clinging to your leg, rendering you immobile – except it clings to your heart, resides in your chest and squeezes out your motivation and drive rendering you feeling hopeless, useless and like you are unable to do anything constructive for your own sake, let alone that of anyone else’s.

I’d like to point out that I certainly DON’T advocate the abuse of children in the slightest when I say that: if this feeling really was a small child clinging to my leg, I would have no quarms about launching it (full power) the other side of yesterday.

And I am currently training to take that run up…


The selection weekend for the OTC was brilliant except for the fact that I “failed” the risk reduction run – I got 15 minutes when I needed to have got below 14. But still, it wasn’t bad for a first attempt at running – EVER!

The following weekend there was another training weekend scheduled and because I had failed the RRR, I wasn’t allowed to take part in a 3 mile PT exercise session. Although happy at the thought of not having to go through that, I was quite disappointed with my fitness failings having stopped me from being like everyone else – because after all, I don’t just want to be like everyone else, I want to be able to (in some cases because i’m not a total douche) exceed the majority.

Originally we (me and the other folks who had failed) were given the option to do some sort of treasure hunt task, but then we were told that we could retry the RRR – an official re-run (lol) was scheduled for the 4th-5th of Nov during our next trip, so if we failed the non-official one THAT day, we would still be able to wait until the official one to get fit and sorted.

I think I may have physically paled after this was suggested, and if it hadn’t been for my fellow platoon-mate encouraging me to join her in doing it, I would have passed up the offer straight away. Because of a chest infection caught during the week in-between weekends I hadn’t trained at all and so had absolutely no confidence whatsoever in completing the run in any less time than the previous attempt. But, I went along with it anyway, telling myself that it was all going to be ok and that it was an optional thing, that I could just break off and stop if it became too much; while at the same time telling myself to stop being such a wuss and to “man the f**k up” (a common phrase going around it seems).

I got changed, started running and immediately upon completing the first lap wanted to stop. My heart had sunk and my mind had already decided I didn’t have the capability. I just wasn’t good enough.

I spoke out breathlessly “I can’t do this..” and as soon as the words passed my lips and I immediately felt sickened – Sickened by my defeatist attitude; sickened by my lack of fitness; Sickened by my lack of will to succeed; Sickened that I was allowing myself to fail before I had even tried.

The guy running beside us, monitoring us and helping us along yelled back “Yes you can, let’s keep going. S’not that far! You can do this!!” and so I pushed on, more afraid of disappointing everyone ELSE and showing THEM how much of a failure I had already considered myself to be, than anything else.

At one point it was implied that we had got to the end of the run so I pushed really hard to get to where I thought it was… only to find out that actually we had another lap and a half left. I literally stopped dead in my tracks and let out a breathless “WHAAAA?” before starting up slowly again, shoulders slumped from feeling slightly depressed at having fallen behind again, and feet dragging from tiredness.

A little while later it was spotted by a Senior member (that I had been interviewed by during selection) that I was struggling so he jumped in beside us and shouted words of encouragement. Despite all this I DID have to keep stopping and walking a few pace before starting up again. This starting and stopping and overall inability to keep going frustrated me no end which no doubt showed when I came out with “FOR F**KS SAKE!!” rather loudly once or twice towards the end, but the effort made by the men encouraging us was inspiring enough for me to push on to the end.

Finally, I succeeded in completing the course – 30 seconds FASTER than my original time.

Completely exhausted, I lay down on the pavement, upon which time the senior member came over to tell me to get up, extended his hands down to help, and put my hands above my head while I cooled down.

Lobster-red-faced and dripping sweat, I breathlessly offered garbled words of thanks and attempted explanations on how it was just such a strange sensation, and that my mind wasn’t switching off to allow me just to get on with it – I think too much. To which he said  – ‘thinking too much’ out in the field may cost you your life.


I had always viewed running as something only done if necessary and if could be done in a short burst of time – like running for a bus so you are not late for work, or running after a football so nobody else gets it. There was always a specific goal in mind. Running long distances seemed goal-less. I had been blessed with good metabolism thus far and so hadn’t the need to ‘loose a few’, and I wasn’t intent on becoming an athlete or body builder – hell, I practically AVOIDED sports. So when it came to running the 1.5 mile stretch, I just couldn’t focus to DE-focus.

When I run for the bus usually it is kicked off by instinct. I don’t think it, but I FEEL the notion – “SH*T, LATE!! BUS!! MUST GET!!!”. Same with the football – “OMG BALL! GET! WEEEEEE!”. There is no real thought to it.

But running long distance – that results in my mind asking all sorts of stupid questions, like a kid in the back seat of the car going “ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET?”. These questions fire off simultaneously – “Why am I doing this?”, “Are my legs supposed to hurt?”, “Is the blood supposed to pound around my head like this?”, “I feel dizzy”, “Why am I out of breath so much?”, “Why can I not keep up?”, “Are we nearly at the end yet?”, “How far left to go?”, “I don’t wanna do this!”.


I realized that the man was right. I HAD to find some way of shutting down my mind. To just DO.

Because it DOES count, and it DOES matter.

But above all else. I HATE loosing, and I HATE being a loser.

That kid in the back seat was going to have to learn to shut the f**k up.


Yesterday evening I briskly walked up the road to a large church near where I live. I had roughly calculated that 5-6 laps along the roads around the church would total 1.5 miles.

Stuck my earphones in, stuck on a running podcast I had downloaded to help get me motivated, and proceeded to jog around the church for 90 seconds as directed. Then 90 seconds brisk walking. Then 3 minutes jogging.

I had to stop half way through the latter as the questions had fired up again – I kept wondering when the 3 minutes was going to be up and this made things much harder. I needed to de-focus and just learn to enjoy the running – thinking that we are doing something we HAVE to do will usually result is less productivity than thinking that we are doing something that we ENJOY doing and WANT to do.

I remembered a good friend had told me earlier that day (after I asked him what sort of mindset I should get into when running) that I should just hate EVERYTHING. Hate myself, hate the world, hate anything and everything – this hate should then be used as fuel to keep going and to really push the self.

Another article I had read stated that you should imagine that you are on a rollercoaster when running – that feeling of lightness, fastness, like you are flying through the air, and the elation that accompanies it.

I had also noticed that jogging at a deliberately slow pace made me feel more heavy and tired.

So, I stuck on some of my favourite, angry yet melodic and inspiring songs full blast, and started again.

I pounded the pavement 3 sides around the church, then briskly walked the 4th before starting again, all along keeping my back straight, head up, and gaze focused up to the sky. I de-focused my eyes enough so I wasn’t aware of anything but my intended path and oncoming traffic/persons, and focused on the melodies, rhythms and lyrics being played into my ears.

It worked. I ran at my own pace and allowed myself to feel light – as if on that rollercoaster. I felt good and found myself smiling.

By the end of it I was so happy I ran the way home, bounding over curbs along the way with childish glee.

I got home, out of breath and red faced but happy, and I realized that I was beginning to learn to enjoy the sensations I had previously found uncomfortable and “odd”.

I was starting to win.


I recognise that it is such a small thing, and my bewilderment at this ‘task’ is comical to say the least. But isn’t that the case for everything we set out to do for the first time?

Things we have never done before will always be novel and new. They will always befuddle us and inevitably make us look like idiots.

This is one of those things for me. I feel a bit like a kid who has just touched snow for the very first time and doesn’t know what to make of the new sensations being felt as a result.

As adults, most people quit when they feel this way – it is a shock to the system and uncomfortable, like learning a new instrument, language or even trying a new sort of cuisine.


But I haven’t quit before when faced with something new and strange. I’ve always kept going, and so i’m not about to give up this time, because my philosophy in life is this:

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got…”

I don’t want what I always got.

I want better.



5 Oct
  • TIME: 21:04
  • PLACE: Mah bedroom! Sheff. UK
  • MUSIC: Evanescence, “End of the dream”
  • MOOD: High on life (and possibly orange juice too).



There comes a time in life where you realize that not only do you WANT to be more, but that you are actually capable of SO much more if you just take a chance, jump in with both feet, and just TRY.

Then, with the right amount of determination and application of the self, you CAN get there. You CAN be more.

After all: What is the point in living a life only half-lived?


I’m now into my second week of classes and so far so good – I decided to take “International Relations in East Asia”, “Japanese Contemporary Society”, and “Music Culture in East Asia” this semester, and all of them are pretty awesome modules!

Violin lessons are also going well, but I have had to REgress in order to PROgress: I have had to take a step back and start from grade 1 again as I haven’t played since I was around 13/14 years old, and have forgotten an awful lot. However, I am taking it all in my stride and reveling in being able to actually pick the damn thing up again without flinching!!! (Long story short – I used to be terrified of the strings snapping, particularly given that I have to hold the instrument so close to my face when playing…)

Started teaching English part time to earn some pocket moneyz: two adorable little Korean girls who speak with the most charming Yorkshire accents, and whose Mother supplies me with tasty Korean snacks! (^-^)

I also decided to join the OTC (Officer Training Corps). And this has to have been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.


In signing up and getting stuck in there, not only will I meet like-minded people from a diverse range of departments at both universities in my area, have masses of fun, and learn new and hugely valuable skills, I will also learn how to push myself to be better than I have ever been. Possibly even better than I thought I could be.

If Korea taught me anything, it taught me the importance in getting up off one’s arse, getting out there and doing stuff. Becoming better. Striving for more. ACHIEVING more.

I think that for most of my life I thought I was only capable of achieving up to the parameters supposedly fixed by my background and immediate surroundings. That ‘better’ was a bit of a myth – an ideal that could never really be achieved. Or simply, that how I was living was ‘good enough’. But for the most part I think that I was just scared. Scared of advancing beyond my family and peers and creating an unbridgable gap between us as a result.

Now, however, I see that I can do so much more and i’m not scared of trying anymore. I CAN become the person i’ve always dreamed of being.


It will, of course, take time and it will, of course, be hard hard HARD work. But I know in the end it will be worth it, and I know that I have the determination to see it through.


Amazing people, Epic times! ❤

So far I have met and made friends with some really amazing people in the OTC through attending a ‘Freshers Cocktails’ event last Tuesday, as well as participating in a sort of group challenge/orienteering event on Saturday – during which I was subjected to lots of forfeits by existing members such as having to scoff cold Paella in 25 seconds, have a mustache drawn on me in permanent marker and having to plank in a fountain for 10 seconds!!! (It was AMAZING fun!!!!)

Planking in the fountain - I am far left behind the kiddy. That water was rather shockingly cold but I soon dried off because it was a rather hot day!

Just because we are at university doesn't mean we have to be all grown up and boring and all that rubbish!!!! EARLY LEARNING CENTRE FTW!!!!

I'M ON A BOAT!!! Ye~ah boi!!! Like a BAWSS!!!

Today I went for kit fitting and to find out what group (‘colour’) I am in.

Tomorrow I will be attending our first formal meeting, and will learn more about what to expect from participating as well as what will be expected of me.

Then, this weekend I will be going away for ‘Selection Weekend’ and will have to run a mile and a half in under 14 minutes.

Those who know me, know how horribly HORRIBLY unfit I am and so will probably getting a good old chortle out of this. HOWEVER CHORTLE NOT!!!! – I am making huge efforts to get into shape (even if only just a tiny bit more before the weekend) so that I can do this. (YEHH BOI~!!!)


SO yeh. Pre-tty busy right now with all of that AND my N2 study. *deep sigh*

But again. S’gonna totally be worth it WHEN i’ve pulled it all off and got to the stage of just generally WINNING AT LIFE!!!! (NO MORE IFS!!! I CAN DO IT!!! RAWR!!!! and such.)


No photo collection would be complete without an epic jump pic!!!! YEH!!! SHEFFIEEEEEEEELD!!!!!!


30 Jul

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been finding it hard not to sweat like a pig everytime I move an inch – the humidity here is unreal and I don’t remember Tokyo having ever been this bad and Tokyo is supposed to be worse than Seoul!!! The humidity is also causing my whole body to itch like crazy. But just when I felt like I was going to go insane from the constant river of sweat my body seems to want to emit from it (making me look like some horrid sweaty foreign beast), the itchiness and the annoying red lumps caused by Mosquitos feasting on my flesh as it slow roasts like samgyupsal on a Friday night, I heard for the first time all summer the unmistakable shrill drone of a cicada from outside my window and smiled.
For me those little buggers (Known as ‘Semi’ in Japan and ‘Memi’ in Korea) are symbolic of the summer and since my year in Japan, no summer has been complete without being deafened by them everytime I walk out the front door. It makes me remember the time I asked a Japanese colleague of mine why people hated them so much:
“Why do people hate cicadas in Japan so much? Do they sting or bite?”
“Then do they destroy crops or wood?”
“…So what do they do that is so annoying (apart from the noise)?”
“They piss on you. They piss on you when you walk under them and then they run away.”

Good Memories.

New resolution – Be EXTRA good to yourself!

31 Mar

So with level 3 of KLI tuition FINALLY out of the way I decided it was time to treat myself (again *snicker*) during the week break before level 4 starts…

Now, I didn’t really think of myself as a girly-girly girl before – if you asked me what cleanser and toner I used I would be all like (O.o) “What is to cleanse and tone?” – but recently Korea and her obsession with skin care and keeping up ones appearances has rubbed off on me…

Thus I present the following list of products I use/have recently discovered (mainly just because I am bored and looking for something to do with my time…):



I come from a family of Lancome buffs – I use it, my Mother uses it, my Grandmother uses it. It is the best makeup I have ever used – and the most compatible with my odd olivey/caramel skin tone AND even though it is really f**king expensive I swear by it.

I use Lancome’s 02 Beige Sable EFFACERNES LONGUE TENUE long-lasting softening concealer

the PHOTOGENIC LUMESSENCE light-mastering & smoothing foundation

the 03 Sable POUDRE MAJEURE EXCELLENCE micros-aerated loose powder

Lancome’s ARTLINER liquid eyeliner

and finally Lancome’s Crayon Khol Noir pencil eyeliner.


Next up I present a recent find : Skin Food’s ALOE SUN BB CREAM (SPF 20 PA+).

Now this I only just started using (to see if it will help with my acne scars and overall texture of my skin) but it seems to be pretty awesome. Plus I love the smell of Aloe stuff. Only problem is it is a little pale for my skin tone – but i plan to mix in a little of the Lancome stuff to balance it out  (^_^) If you don’t know what BB cream is, google it. SO can’t be bothered with providing an explanation  ;p

I generally only use BOOTS’ 17 eyes METALLIC TOFFEE eyeshadow because I like natural looking makeup – none of that florescent pink sparkly eyes bulls*it!

And finally I use Maybelline’s THE MAGNUM VOLUM’ EXPRESS waterproof mascara – just because.



Until recently I didn’t really bother with hand cream, or take care of my hands and nails at all… But it seems that I have developed a bit of a fetish for using hand cream and getting my nails done… *facepalm*

I have started using Atrix’s STRONG protection cream (with Aloe Vera)

And in an attempt to grow my nails out, I have been using Sally Hansen’s HARD AS NAILS EXTREME WEAR black nail polish and HARD AS NAILS WITH NYLON nail grower-helper stuff.



You may have noticed a little bit of a theme with aloe themed lotions – turns out I am obsessed with the stuff and even use Vaseline’s ALOE FRESH HYDRATING BODY LOTION (with aloe and cucumber extract). IT SMELLS SO GOOD!!!!

THEN for washing my face I use Skin Food’s GREEN TEA AND MILK FOAM CLEANSER (’cause I love me some green tea!!!)

I prefer not to wash my body with anything uber smelly as it can upset certain parts of my anatomy (lol), hence I use PALMERS COCOA BUTTER SOAP – for that soft, pure, unperfumed kind of cleanness…

For my hair I use TSUBAKI SHINING shampoo and conditioner (ALSO SMELLS SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!)

Then, my deodorant of choice is MITCHUM’s 48 HOUR PROTECTION unperfumed rollon – unperfumed because I don’t like to mix up too many different fragrances. This is by FAR the best deodorant I have EVER used and it really does stop the old armpits from stinking!!!!

And finally, for those times when I want to smell EXTRA lovely – I use ANNA SUI’s NIGHT OF FANCY perfume~!


So there you have it – my list of girly stuff I use. Just because.


To finish off with I decided to also pop in a pic of my latest purchace – a starbucks CREATE YOUR OWN TUMBLER (because it is AWESOME!!!)

Will show pictures of customized product when done!!! (^_^)


ANYWAYS – toodleoo!


The metaphorical brick wall of doom…

4 Nov


I’m not gonna lie. Living in a foreign country is AWESOME… But sometimes it is equally AWESOMELY CRAP.

However, the important thing to realize is that actually, you have good times, bad times and mediocre times wherever in the world you decide to park your backside for a while…


I’m having a bit of a “feeling crap” week and now feel a bit like i’ve just pile drived (driven?) my skull into a very ‘Mario World’-esq, previously invisible brick wall. Yeh.

*deep breath…. and sighhhhhhhhhhhhh*


Yesterday I got my midterm results back – I passed Reading (89/100), Speaking (65/100) and Listening (62/100) but unfortunately was 2.2 marks away from passing Writing (57.8/100)…

Rather than piss and moan about how badly I had done, and how much I needed to pull my finger out from now on, I decided to go shopping and indulge in some good old retail therapy, thus tottered off to the electronic district of Seoul – Yongsan – with Risa (a friend of mine from uni here) to buy a new video camera (given that the old one died a horrible death after being subjected to hot spring fumes back in my Manza days…)…


Yongsan is -ok- but it’s no Akihabara… However, you CAN bargain with stall owners to lower the price of goods IF you know what you are doing…

I don’t. (-_-;)

But Risa did. (^-^)


After wandering around and looking at various different products I found myself torn between 2 more-than-I-wanted-to-pay-but-so-cool HD cameras – 1 Sanyo, 1 JVC.

The JVC one was epicly awesome but was pitched at 590,000 won – about £330 which was WAY MORE than I was willing to pay.

The Sanyo one, that was smaller and lighter than the JVC one but not -as- cool, was pitched at 490,000 won – about £270 which was still pretty high….

So we bantered and bargained and FINALLY got the guy to lower the price down to 440,000 won (£245) for the Sanyo INCLUDING added 10% charge for using my card to pay, a 8mb memory card, carry case and usb stick for the memory card.

Not bad, I thought and tottered back off home reasonably happy with said purchase.


Of course I checked the price of the same thing on and found that the price I had paid was marginally more expensive than back home but couldn’t be bothered to argue with it – I had a video camera I was happy with and to be honest couldn’t be bothered to go all the way back to argue to toss over a couple of quid. Plus, the man who served us wasn’t seedy and horrible like the other stall owners we encountered who were hell bent on taking us for fools.


So, without much ado, I present my new baby:


So YEH… That cheered me up a bit… Until this morning…


Recently with exam and such i’ve become strangely more tired than usual – stomach cramps from the colitis have been kicking off a bit and even have started getting a sty on my right eye again… Fun fun!

As a result, I threw in the towel today and decided to stay at home and rest!

I know I should probably make an effort to go to choir practice at 6pm as I wasn’t able to attend last week on Thursday and this week on Monday due to preparing for midterms, and our performance is on the 28th of November so I need to know my stuff……

Buuuuuuuuuttttt that brick wall is ‘all up in mah face’ and I can’t figure out which is the best way around it. I have the choice of:

  1. Staying home and chilling out/catching up generally as well as work missed from today – but if I do this I will miss out on choir and potentially piss people off.
  2. Going to choir – fun and happy but at the same time will probably have a knock on effect on tomorrow – I am knackered as it is and may feel the same tomorrow as I did today…
  3. Staying home and f**king off both choir and study – to the detriment of everything constructive in my life.

Hmmm, hard choice.

Whilst it is very tempting to go with choice no.3, I am of a sane-enough mind to know that doing that would be a VERY STUPID IDEA.

Choice no.1 is thus the preferred one because, lets face it, I HAVE to pass this term – if I don’t I will have to redo level 3 and, aside from just reeeeeally not wanting to have to do that, I reeeeeeeallly don’t want to have to stay until September to make sure I pass 3 levels of tuition required before coming home.

But…. recently I have been feeling pretty blue because of lack of socialization – it feels like all I do is come home and eat, study, sleep and go to school again before repeating the same cycle. It gets boring, not to mention depressing, and makes me miss the days back in Sheffield when I would crash over at peoples houses, steal their foods, beds and play their video games (left 4 dead 1+2 FTW) into the early hours of the morning… *reminisces* mmmmmm stolen beds… 😉

So yeh – choice no.2 would be good to a point because it will mean getting out and doing stuff with people… but still… study IS more important….

*sigh* 迷ってる。。。

Now that exams are done…

3 Nov


Traveling the world and living in foreign countries can be awesome. Not 100% of the time, of course – but even the bad times can be spun into for-the-better learning experiences.

What I love about traveling the world the most is not that ‘first time’ visit where everything is new and shiny, but the subsequent visits that follow.

Obviously the first visit is always the most memorable, but after that, every time I revisit a place, I get a warm fuzzy nostalgic feeling as i’m taken back into times past and recall some truly amazing times (both good and bad)…


Midterms. 2 of 4 went DIRELY.

I have a profound dislike for exams in general and these midterms were no exception – but I suppose now I know what to expect for the finals thus know how I need to prepare better…

HOWEVER, it’s not all doom and gloom!!! The magical light at the end of this reasonably hellish tunnel is my recently booked trip to JAPAN!!!!

After debating it for the past month or so, I finally took the plunge and (regardless of whether I thought I was capable of affording it or not) I went ahead and booked the flight (with help from my lovely homestay Omma~!)

The return flight from the 13th to the 23rd of Dec set me back a WHOPPING 437000 Won (less than £250), which (lets face it) really wasn’t bad at all, given the time of year.

Furthermore I will be staying with my AMAZING pals from Uni – who are currently studying over in Tokyo for the year and who I will be house sharing with upon our return the UK (can I get a WOOP WOOP?!) – so I won’t have to pay anything for accomodation~! (I wuv you guyzzz~!)

SO yeh. Totally awesome – but it gets BETTER:

1) MUCC (One of my favorite bands in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD) is playing on the 16th IN TOKYO <- I’m SO there!

2) Recently got in contact with the folk at the hot spring hotel I used to work at in Gunma (in the mountains in the middle of f**ing nowhere) and they have kindly offered to give me a discount on staying there for the night with previously mentioned best buddies~!

3) Got news today from my Mother that my TAX REBATE reimbursement cheque for -£450- (ZOMG~!) came through in the post – that, plus the fact that I recently discovered I have far more funds than initially thought = KACHING~! (Shopping in Tokyo FTW!)



SO excited in fact, that I made the following itinerary:


Now all I have to do is make a shopping list…… *grins*