You Will Need Other People

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

*random thoughts that need to be written down*



TWLOHA have a blog, along with many other things, but 
they have a blog. And for me, someone who sometimes 
struggles with my mental health, but not only that, as
someone who sometimes needs motivation to get out of
bed in the morning, to not shut the world out and give up 
on friends and family, as someone who could do with knowing
that I'm not alone in these thoughts, TWLOHA's blog has 
been a beacon of hope and a great source of comfort over the
past five or six years, be that at 3am when I'm sitting alone in 
the dark or at 2pm on an afternoon like today when I just need
something to remind me that it's okay to not be okay and that 
everyone has these days, that it's okay to speak out and to reach
out, which is something that maybe I need to do more often.

Today though I just wanted to share some words from the 
TWLOHA blog that have meant a lot to me today,
 in the hopes that maybe someone else out there 
needs to hear them too :

"i like birthdays. i like them more for other people but i’m glad we celebrate them. At the heart of it is the opportunity to tell someone “I’m glad that you were born”, which is also to say “I’m glad that you’re alive.” Those are powerful statements. The world would be a different better place if we lived that way, if we said and showed those things, more than once a year. 
i hope TWLOHA can be something like that, an attempt to say those things more often, to say that we are thankful for life and stories and certainly yours. i hope that we can be something like a gift, something like a favourite song or some show that you remember, some piece of hope or life or strength to hold against the walls when they feel cracked or falling. i hope we can be a reminder that life is worth fighting for, that your friends and family are worth fighting for, that love and beauty still happen, that change still happens. We’ll only ever be part of the process, words on a screen in the middle of the night – i hope they find you like a friend. A t-shirt pulled from one of your drawers early on a tired silent morning – i hope you feel less alone when you look in the mirror. i hope it reminds you of community, that you’re part of a bigger thing. i hope it sparks some conversation that brings change like a fire on the coldest night.
You’ll need more than us. You’ll need more and better. You’ll need other people. You’ll need people to help you process, people to help you let go, people to help you remember what’s true and people to help you forget what’s lies. You’ll need the stories and advice of people with grey hair or white hair or no hair at all. Don’t buy the lie that suggests they have nothing to offer or nothing to say – they were young once too. They are stories still going and they’ve seen the places you will go. They’ve been stuck at times as well, just like you and me and everyone.
You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.
We’re saying the story doesn’t end here, that the air in your lungs is there for a reason. Perhaps we’re all in the business of better endings, you as much as us, the business of redemption. Yours and mine and all the characters around us, and perhaps that bigger thing.
The darkness wins too often. Broken things build themselves in silence. People feel alone. People give up. People talk about this stuff like it’s math or they don’t talk about it at all.
So what are we doing? Why this page? Why the shirts? Why did a group of young people put their lives on hold and move to Florida a week ago? Why would they trade everything they know, all their normal comfort and quiet, for a crowded house and endless hours of this word “community”? Why would they want to join a conversation that most people run from?
We’re trying to fight for people with kindness, with words that move, with honesty and creativity. We’re trying to push back at suicide with compassion, with hope. We’re pointing to wisdom, pointing to medicine, saying that hope is real, help is real. We’re fighting for our own stories, our own friends and families, our own broken hearts. We’re saying there’s nothing we can’t talk about, nothing off-limits. We’re kicking elephants out of living rooms, making room for life.
You. It’s about you. This is for you. It’s crap unless it moves you, crap unless it connects with your story, meets you in your pain, reminds you of your dreams, reminds you what’s possible.
We’re still alive, you see. You and i on this night that’s never happened before. Spread out across a giant circle, winter on one side and summer on the other, day and night the same. And then it moves and turns and changes. Things are always changing.
We are glad that you were born.
We are glad that you’re alive.

Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your story. Don’t give up on the people you love. Hope is real. Love is real. It’s all worth fighting for."

 This text was taken from a TWLOHA blog post,
written by the founder Jamie Tworkowski.
Here's the link to this exact blog post:
https://twloha.com/blog/happy-birthday-2/

I strongly encourage you to have a read of their blog
posts, whether you're having a good day or a bad day,
there's no perfect time to read the hopeful words that they
have to say and to make you feel like you belong here,
you matter very much.

Peace and love xo
Zoe


Flaws

Wednesday, 15 July 2015









Sleeveless Blazer - New Look
White Top with Necklaces - Pennys/Primark
Ripped Jeans - Pennys/Primark
Vans - Schuh

I'd spotted a very similar sleeveless blazer to this one in River Island
a few weeks ago, but at the insane price of €75 I just couldn't bring
myself to buy it. So I set out on a hunt for one very similar and
came across this one whilst holiday shopping in New Look,
for literally a third of the price, only €25! So of course I had to buy it!

These photos were so much fun but also rather stressful to shoot as
we (myself, Kaylee [my photographer for these] and Jess) were
out on the rocks on an extremely windy day right beside the sea!
Most of the photos weren't good due to my hair being blown
all over my face, me squinting as it was too sunny
 and just many wardrobe malfunctions, these were
the best ones I could salvage!

Sometimes I feel that Blogs, Instagram and social
media in general can just portray peoples' lives in such a "perfect"
way, when in reality it's not perfect, nobody is.
When you look at those photos above you probably just think
things like "Nice blazer" "I like her hair" or whatever.
But when I look at those photos all I can see are flaws.
I just pick apart every little thing that I dislike about myself
and how those flaws are highlighted in those photos.
Just something to keep in mind next time you're
scrolling through Instagram or reading someone's blog;
their life probably isn't as perfect as it may seem or that they
too have their imperfections and flaws.
Everyone is human, be kind to each other.

Peace and love xo



Italy | Venice, Verona & Lake Garda

Monday, 29 June 2015

At the start of June I went on a holiday with my dad, stepmum, 
brother and sister to Lake Garda in Italy. We were staying in a 
campsite, in a safari tent (a huge tent with little beds and a fridge 
and stuff but still a tent!) and we had rented a car so we had 
the freedom to travel around and visit lots of different cities.

I really enjoyed the whole holiday! Possibly wouldn't stay in
a tent for quite so long again as I'm way too much of a city girl
and I like my home comforts and having direct access to a shower
and bathroom far too much, but it was nice to try something different!
Below are just a few of the photos from my trip, apologies for anyone
who's seriously craving a holiday away, these may make you jealous..

Verona







Lake Garda










Venice









We visited a few other places like Milan and Gardaland during
our holiday but these are the best photos that I have from the
trip and wanted to share with you!

I was also recently, literally until two days ago, in Budapest
with my best friend, hence why I have been so terrible with
blogging for the past month, I've only been at home for about
eight days overall in June, but there'll be another post up later
this week or early next week about Budapest hopefully!

Peace and love xo

Uninspired

Monday, 1 June 2015

It's okay to have off-days.
It's okay to have off-weeks, even off-months.
It happens to everyone, to the best of us, but what's important
is that after this 'off-time' you come back fighting.
You come back with your game face on, ready to take on the world.

I felt like I couldn't quite pick up blogging easily again without 
addressing this issue of having 'off-time'.
Lately, for the past month or so, I've been feeling really uninspired.
Nothing in particular happened to cause this, no major life event or 
traumatic experience, I've just felt 'off'.
And I didn't really know what to do with it.
I didn't feel any motivation to blog, certainly didn't feel 
any motivation to work, and I just sort of fell into the slump
of not doing much at all.

I've been dealing with some serious self-loathing issues
and major self body-hatred lately. 
I've never been the most skinny girl around, but lately I've
just really not felt like myself. I couldn't stand to look at pictures of
myself, would generally avoid pictures on nights out, would cover up in 
most of them if I were in any and I just kind of avoided going out in altogether.
I hate feeling like this, cause I really want to promote the feeling of being
proud of who you are, no matter what your shape/size/weight. 
I felt like I was letting myself down by feeling this way but I couldn't help it.

Along with this body-hate, came procrastination for blogging.
When I'm not feeling like I look my best, the last thing I want to do
is go out and take pictures of myself wearing clothes that
I don't feel nice in and don't feel confident.
So I just kept putting blogging off, kept procrastinating writing 
anything at all and then suddenly almost a whole month had gone 
past with little or no blog posts and I felt/feel really crappy because of it.
Something I never wanted to come from this blog was 
pressure or the feeling of not being good enough.
This is a place to feel happy and positive and encourage others to
feel the same while also making myself feel empowered.

Tonight something just snapped. 
I was making plans for tomorrow with my friend and I just
suddenly felt inspired again, I felt like I actually wanted blog, not like I had to. 
Tomorrow myself and Kaylee are going out to take some photos and bringing our
DSLR's with us, a start to more blog posts to come this summer.
But I felt like I couldn't just randomly put up a post about
my shiny new purple lipstick or a cute outfit I'm
loving lately and not address this lack of inspiration or motivation.
So there you have it,
I haven't died or haven't fallen off the face of the earth,
I've just had an 'off-time' and I feel ready to tackle the world again,
one blog post at a time!
*insert dancing lady emoji*

Peace and love xo


For When : Your Anxiety Takes Over

Sunday, 17 May 2015

I've always been one for having a plan.
I don't like the idea of not knowing where I'm going, who I'm going with, what time we're going at or what I'm doing in general. 
The idea of not having a plan or a general idea of what I'm doing in life scares the crap out of me.
When things start going off-track and not according to plan, I panic.
This unfortunately leads to being anxious a lot of the time.
I never really acknowledged this 'anxious' feeling until a few months ago or about a year ago, 
but I've definitely noticed it more since I've started college, and especially more in the last few weeks.
 There's always going to be things that I'm uncertain of and things that make me feel uncomfortable or anxious, 
but I'm in the process of finding out how to deal with these feelings and 
what to do when I'm feeling anxious, so here we go;


Dear Zoe, for when you're feeling anxious.

- If you're in public, which you probably are, like at a party or in a nightclub, don't be afraid to take a minute outside to yourself. Of course don't be silly and go wandering off down the street by yourself at night, but take a minute to step away, even to the bathroom, and just breathe. It's going to be okay.

- Don't let yourself get paranoid or get worked up over feeling anxious or flustered. Nobody has probably noticed or if they have they just want to help you. Nobody will notice if you step out for a minute and even if you have to leave they won't think you're rude or anything, just do what's right for you. Be selfish, look after yourself first.

- Whatever the problem is, probably you feel out of place or like you don't belong wherever you are, you're more than likely over-reacting, so just take a minute to think about it logically and calm yourself down. 

- Talk to someone. I know you probably just want to be alone right now and push everyone away, but just talk to someone. Who cares if you start crying and look like a fool, which you don't really, it's better out than cooped up inside. So just talk to someone and let it all out, you'll feel so much better afterwards, and if they're truely your friend they won't mind, and they certainly won't tell.

- There doesn't always have to be a reason, so don't focus on that too much. It's okay to just not feel okay. We've all been there and we've all been through it, some more than others. It's okay to just feel sad and anxious for no reason at all. Try not to be so hard on others that can't understand this though, not everyone feels the same way you do. 

- If you're alone, be prepared to deal with this by yourself, people won't always be there for you. Find out what makes it go away, what makes you feel better. Watch endless Youtube Clips of The Graham Norton Show and laugh out loud to yourself. Drink two litres of water and focus on drinking it and nothing else, it'll soothe you. Lie on the floor and just stare at the ceiling focusing on your breathing, it helps. Just figure out what distracts you and focus on that instead.

- Most importantly, don't let the anxiety take over. This is just a feeling, one of thousands of feelings that you experience every single day. It'll pass, it always does. Anxiety doesn't control you or your life, remember that.

Peace and love xo

Creative Digital Media - Year One

Thursday, 14 May 2015

I'm just coming to the end of my Second Semester of my First Year of College/Uni, studying Creative Digital Media(CDM).
So frequently when I say that that's what I'm studying, people ask me what exactly is that? So today I'm going to just tell you a little bit about what it is and show you some examples of the work that I've created this year and some that my friends have created too!

So over the two semesters of First Year I studied a wide variety of subjects and modules.
Some of them were painstakingly difficult while others were tough but enjoyable!
Some of the modules I studied in my first year were:

- Digital Imaging (Using Adobe Photoshop)
- Visual Creativity (Arty aspect of the course)
- Visual Communications (Using Adobe Illustrator)
- Universal Design (Researching how design affects us all)
- Web Development 1 & 2 (Coding & Design of Websites)
- Multimedia Authoring (Using Adobe Flash & Theory of Multimedia)
- Digital Photography 1 & 2 (Use of Digital Cameras, lighting, studios etc)
- Writing for Digital Media (Blogs, websites, articles, script for videos etc)

That all sounds a bit daunting, even after I've completed the year and I know what that all means,
 it still sounds quite scary and like a lot of work so I'll break it down much easier for you, and myself!

Digital Imaging.
In my Digital Imaging module, we had one 2 hour lab session every week where we would have weekly lab assignments to complete and submit the following week. These were all based on Adobe Photoshop. We were taught, using demonstration videos, how to use most of the tools on Photoshop and then had to apply them and use them to create ads/posters/cd covers and much more. Then we had a final assignment to complete in our own time. This could be pretty much anything you wanted as long as you demonstrated your knowledge of Photoshop Tools. We all chose very different things, from CD Album Covers, Posters, Impossible Images, Magazine Covers etc.
Below are some examples of the work myself and my friends created for this module:

This was my Assignment Piece, an edited portrait of my friend Niamh, turned into a Tiger.

My friend Kaylee's Assignment, The Dublin Edition of Noah's Ark.

Visual Creativity
This was a module in the First Semester, and to be perfectly honest it was a bit of a "wishy-washy" module. It wasn't really about anything in particular, just about getting our creative juices flowing and looking at the more artsy aspect of Creativity as opposed to constantly thinking Digitally!
We had one main assignment to create 40 different drawings/designs all based on the one shape. So for example, the shape I chose was an egg shape, so I drew up 40 different designs in the shape of an egg, using different materials and things on A3 pieces of paper. It was a fun module, but not very important! These were some of my egg-shaped designs:




Visual Communications
This was one of my favourite modules in the Second Semester. We learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and how to use this to create little characters and designs, it's kinda of like a more detailed, harder to use version of Paint! We had a notebook for this assignment where we drew out little sketches and documented our ideas before turning them into digital designs. For our main assignment we had to create a digital design for a Mural (a giant graffiti-ish painting) for a larger container/box in the garden in our college. Along with this we had to sketch out loads of sample ideas and proposals for the mural. We then presented our mural design to our year group and we all voted on the best ones to be spraypainted onto the container. This was my mural design (bad quality I apologize), bearing in mind the main concepts were to convey a design that is positive, creative and inclusive:



Universal Design
Again this was a bit of a "wishy-washy" module, we had the same lecturer for this module and Visual Creativity, definitely a link there! This module was supposed to be all about creating things both digitally and physically that can accommodate everyone and meet the needs of everyone, whether that's older generations, young children, people with disabilities etc. However my lecturer took it in a completely different direction and made the module solely about making physical objects (we spent weeks studying and learning about chairs?!) suitable for people with disabilites. It was a bit of an eyeopener in one aspect as we did learn things that we hadn't before about different disabilites, however it wasn't really anything to do with the module itself! Regardless, myself and my friend Niamh made this video about my friend Oscar and how he has dealt with living with Dyspraxia, check it out if you want to by clicking this link:
Oscar O'Leary Fitzpatrick - Dyspraxia

Web Development 1 & 2 
Mention this to any CDM student and you'll probably reduce them to tears. These were by far the most difficult modules in the course. Web Development is basically coding websites and designing websites. So we learned how create basic but functioning websites from scratch, like learned the code to create a website and also learned the code needed to design it, like adding columns, links, images, colours, borders and much much more! Anyone who has ever studied this will know how difficult it is. However, although it's very hard, it was still very satisfying to have developed my own website from scratch and have something good to show for it! Our main assignments for this were in the first Semester to create a 14 Web Page Website about our favourite TV Show, and in the second semester to create a Website for a Gym with working application forms and more.

Multimedia Authoring
This was also quite a challenging module in my second semester. We learned how to do basic animations using Adobe Flash, which is a LOT more complicated than it sounds! It was a fun module in the sense than we had quite a bit of freedom in terms of what we wanted to create and how to design our animations. For our two main assignments, we had to first create two characters, a monster and a girl, as a follow on animation for the film Where The Wild Things Are and make the characters move around and stuff. Our second assignment was to create a Kinetic Typography video. This is basically like an animated typography/lyric video to accompany the audio from a song/speech/spoken word poetry or something along those lines. I can't upload my piece as it hasn't been graded yet, but here are some links to other pieces of Kinetic Typography that I liked:
https://vimeo.com/96802122

Digital Photography
These were quite stressful modules also over the two semesters, however they were enjoyable once you got the hang of it. We started from the very basics, like how to use the basic functions of a DSLR camera and moved onto using studio lighting and taking portrait and product shots. We had many mini assignments over the two semesters and lots of chances to practice what we had learned. Below are some of the photographs both myself and my friends took over the two semesters:

A portrait my friend Kaylee took of me in the studio

Portrait of my friend Freya that I took in the studio

My Product Shot for an assignment

Kaylee's Product Shot for an assignment

A photo I took when learning about Depth of Field and Focus in a lab session

Hope you liked this little (very long) insight into what I've been up to and studying this year in college,
I'm excited to see what's to come in the next two/three years!

Peace and love xo

Five Things: My Advice to You..

Sunday, 10 May 2015

I feel like I need to get some things off my chest in the form of life advice/a little rant..

1. Be careful who you choose to love. If you're not careful he could end up going off with another girl (but don't worry, they're 'just friends'), coming out as bi, then kissing one of your closest friends on a 'drunken' night out. I'm telling you, be careful who you choose to love, because trust me, you'll never get over something like that.

2. Contradictory to my previous statement, the best way to move on from something is to always forgive but never forget. If someone can hurt you once, they can hurt you again. Forgive them, but never forget what they did or how they made you feel.

3. Try not to live in the past so much. Trust me, I know better than anyone how hard this is, but the past is over, it's never coming back and there's nothing you can do to change that now, just keep looking forward, always keep looking forward.

4. Never underestimate the power of starting a simple compliment, you have the power to make or break someone's day with the words you choose to say, choose wisely.

5. Don't chase after the idea of someone or something, it's/they're probably not gonna be exactly how you imagine it/them to be. We can get so caught up in our own heads creating ideal situations or dreaming about how something will be/turn out. It's okay to dream and imagine, it's where the best ideas are made, but remember to live in the real world too.

Peace and love xo




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