Black Friday

I only had a small amount of money to work with so the decision of what to actually purchase was a hard one.  

Since what I needed included sports bras and warm layers.  I decided to go with Victoria’s Secret.  They have some great deals on this weekend, including buy one get one half price on bras and a whopping 60% off sweaters (or jumpers to my fellow Brits). 

VICTORIA’S SECRET

Here is what I went for…

VS buy 28:11:15

This boatneck sweater was originally £54.26 and I got it for £21.84.  Not only does it look warm and cosy, I love the shape which gives it an edge compared to the run of the mill jumpers I normally go for.  We’ll see what it looks like on when it arrives, hopefully it won’t disappoint.

VS buy 2 28:11:15

This jumper was such a bargain, at £9.73 it was too good to resist.  I went for black as that is what I wear for college; so my wardrobe is slowly being overcome by darkness.  

VS buy 3 38:11:15

I haven’t purchased a sports bra from VS as of yet, so this was a bit of a risky purchase.  However I have heard good things so thought this was as good a time as any.  This was one of the medium support bras.  I felt that the minimum was going to be useless for me yet the price of the maximum support  was too much of a stretch for my bank account.  I thought I’ll see how the mediums fit and I might stretch for a maximum in January.  Also if the medium support is enough for me I can treat myself to some more at the slightly lower price in the future.  This came out at £16.89 which is cheaper than the M&S ones I usually go for (if you haven’t tried them they work wonders particularly the zip up ones which come in specific bra sizes.)VS buy 4 28:11:15

Again this is another medium support bra.  Again in black, this one however was cut to £8.44 due to the Black Friday deal.  So even if it only works as a crop top rather than a supportive bra I think I will be ok (though I do hope it gives me some support).

TOPSHOP

Even though I couldn’t make any purchases I had a quick look at Topshop to see what I could have got if I had the means.  There weren’t as many items that grabbed my attention as I thought there would be.  Maybe it was because I was shopping online as usually I go into the store and can drool over many pieces.  

Here are my Topshop Black Friday picks…

Topshop black friday 2015 page 1Topshop black friday 2015 page 2

URBAN OUTFITTERS

I didn’t see anything that I thought was a real bargain, but there were decent discounts off of most of the items included in the sale.  This selection was taken from the Black Friday section of the site.

Here are my Urban Outfitter Black Friday picks…

Urban Outfitters black friday 2015 page 1Urban Outfitters black friday 2015 page 2Urban Outfitters black friday 2015 page 3Urban Outfitters black friday 2015 page 4Urban Outfitters black friday 2015 page 5Urban Outfitters black friday 2015 page 6

I hope you enjoy looking through my little Black Friday wish lists.

laurajoan

Common Courtesy

So I was on the underground with a friend.  We were both sitting down and a guy was standing pretty much on top of me.  When we approached our stop I stood up, as did my friend and she headed towards the door.  I was stuck behind the gentleman, by the time I figured out he wasn’t going to move for me the train arrived at the stop.  I don’t expect everyone to move out of my way as soon as I stand up; even though I would do that for anyone else as it is rather expected if someone stands up from their seat it’s not because they need to stretch their legs.  With no hope of a clear pathway I tried to get around him, failing that I politely said ‘excuse me’. 

  Once I had attempted to get past he grunted, “actually we’re getting off here too”.  This annoyed me.  Does he think I’m a mind reader? We were at the stop, there was no one in front of you, the people you were with were stationary and you expect me to wait behind you because I was somehow meant to know that you were getting off right there.

Underground

People can be so infuriating.  I understand that it is annoying when people push you out the way to get off when you are getting off as well as this has happened many times to me.  But in this circumstance the tube wasn’t very busy and the three people in the group weren’t even facing the door as the doors were opening. 

What is most irritating is that this man was saying this to me implying that I was being rude by asking him to step to the side so I could get off.  He believed that I was the rude person barging their way past.

When people act like this I am often in two minds.  Immediately after I am really annoyed and confused yet on the other hand, I begin to think why they act that way.  Why did this man assume I was barging past him, despite my polite approach?  It’s sad when people see everything as an attack.  Maybe it was just that day.  I’m sure I’ve had days where I have over reacted to something because of varying reasons.  I hope that was the case and the gentleman wasn’t someone who always feels as though they are being attacked.

Sometimes I give people too much of an excuse because of their past and what they’ve been through.  Looking at them in a different way and accepting behaviour which in other circumstances wouldn’t stand.  However generally looking at people this way gives me more of an understanding,  so I feel less annoyed or angry; instead I just feel sorry for them.

laurajoan

Bend It Like Beckham-The Musical

I’m rather ashamed (being a performing arts student and all) that this was my first musical outing in (cough) a few years.  There are many other musicals that I would have had chosen to watch before ‘Bend It Like Beckham’.  It’s not that I didn’t want to watch it, I was actually really intrigued as to how they had managed to make it into a musical.  But there are other more appealing shows that I would have made the effort to see first. 

Having said that I really enjoyed it.  There were some good songs with both western and eastern vibes, a few interesting dance numbers of the girls training, some laugh out loud moments and a highly relatable storyline, not just to those with an Indian background.  Being set in 2001 there may be a feeling of the social comment being dated since there has been progress for both women and the treatment of other cultures, however it is still relevant as there are still many hurdles to get over in regards to both issues.  It’s worth a mention that on the night I went to see the show the main character of Jess was played by Sharan Phull who is the understudy.

Bend it Like Beckham

Taking my seat waiting for curtain up I admired the steps going onto the stage and the boarder being covered in fake grass.  The whole stage was bordered with white to give the image of a goal.  Throughout the show the set continued to surprise me.  The slick change of scenery flipping into the shops on Southall broadway to the sliding in of the girls bedrooms on a raised platform.

The music was a mix of surprisingly catchy songs such as ‘Girl Perfect’ which has been stuck in my head, the emotional songs of parents looking out for their children, ‘There she goes’, and ‘People like us’ the sorrowful song of the Father’s (of Jess the main character) unfulfilled dream due to the way he was treated because of the colour of his skin, projecting his fears and past onto his daughter.  There were also many moments musically with distinctive Indian influences, I particularly enjoyed ‘Heer/Golden Moment’ beginning with an angelic vocal.

The dancers were full of energy and entertaining throughout, convincing as a strongly bonded football team.  I thought the training number where the girls go through various training exercises was effective.  The football moves which the girls managed to perform were executed well.  I did have some unrealistic expectation of a ‘Get’cha Head in the Game’ type number with the girls doing choreographed football tricks.  Realising my rather high expectations I was admirable of what they did manage to perform on stage.  The perhaps simple moves of heading the ball is made multiple times harder, having to perform it in time to music and in front of a live audience; who would not be expecting a football to land in there lap, or worse their face.  The cast did however include a  footballer who could perform keepy uppies on demand, her invlolvement perhaps not completely necessary as there is a limited amount of football tricks that can be confined to the space of a stage surrounded by various lights and wires.  However having the show being a great support to women’s football it is nice to see a professional women’s player involved.

If you want a a great feel good experience with a slice of social comment with relatable characters and situations this is definitely worth a watch.

laurajoan

It’s Ok, It’s Human

It’s ok to feel what you feel.  You don’t have to act a certain way all the time.  At times I can be bubbly, energetic and completely up for a laugh.  Other times I want to be alone, I don’t feel the urge to be loud and fun; sometimes I need to be reserved and reflective.  AND THAT’S OK.

I always found it hard to understand that I would sometimes be the life of the party and at other times the one on the outside looking in.  I didn’t want to be expected to act a certain way.  So I didn’t really act.  Holding emotions in stopped me from just living and being me.  It is human to not feel the same all the time.  No one should expect anything from you, and if they do they aren’t worth worrying about.

To some people this may sound stupidly obvious.  But for me, I lived by this fear of being real for years, and I still sometimes feel trapped by the thought of having to be and feel a certain way if others around me are.   

I thought I’d share this in case anyone stumbling across this has felt the same way and needs reassurance that they aren’t the only one feeling this way. It has got better for me.  There are more times that I feel comfortable in myself.  I still experience times where I’m scared to act in a way that’s true to myself at that moment.  But I guess that’s life.  I’m hoping that writing some of my thoughts can help me understand my feelings a bit more and help me to be more confident and comfortable with who I am.  Well, it’s at least worth a try.

laurajoan

Circles

circles

goingroundandround

back at the bottom

the cycle begins again

*

numb

empty

dull

diluted

vacant

*

the struggle getting up

floating with ease above

to drop swiftly

crash landing to begin again

Laura Joan xx

Wild

I have finally got around to watching ‘Wild’, the film based on the book ‘Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found’ by Cheryl Strayed.  I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.  It was a great story of self discovery, vulnerability and strength.  I recommend it to anyone and once I’ve read the book I’m sure I’ll be able to say the same thing about that.

“denying/her wounds came from the same source as her power”1

The film features the poem ‘Power’ by Adrienne Rich.  I was drawn to the words spoken in the film and had to look it up right away.  I admired how Rich had placed strength and vulnerability hand in hand.  

I felt a connection to the words for various reasons.  In my professional life my strength is how I use my body.  Us dancers often put our bodies under so much stress in order to improve.  Doing the very thing we love can lead to success, but also has the risk of injury.  The drive to improve can occasionally hinder progress.

I also have an emotive connection.  As a performer it is a strength to have deep and varied emotions; I have this ability in me.  I have these strong emotions, however these rarely reach the surface as they can get trapped inside of me.  My inability to be open emotionally has made me hold onto my emotions, causing tension and anxiety.  It may be an advantage on one hand to have these emotions, however it has also caused problems.  There is a blockage of emotion inhibiting anything from escaping.

This is just my personal connection.  For me I can also see how it could relate to love, passion and desire.  Engaging in something which can give us strength yet can also easily destroy the beholder.  You may see something else entirely, or have a similar take to me; however putting the seemingly opposing feelings of strength and vulnerability together is surely an interesting motion.  Illustrating the complex state of the human mind, being able to feel multiple complementary and conflicting emotions simultaneously.

laurajoan

1’Power’, Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a common language, 1974-1977

What I’d Been Looking For

Forever questioning ourselves; who we are, what we want to be, when will that be, and how do we get there?

I am now at the beginning of a three year adventure.  It’s great finally belonging somewhere, having somewhere to go everyday and doing something I enjoy.

Last year I was in a limbo, what felt like somewhere between my ‘University’ chapter and my ‘professional training’ chapter.  I didn’t know where I was, and I wasn’t sure whether I would get to, what I hoped would be my next chapter.

I felt as though my future was in the hands of others.  I knew I could be successful without everyone accepting me, but what about the people with the power to decide my future.  What qualifications do they have that gives them the right to throw away my plans for my future?

I could make the best impression I could.  Giving my guess at what they were looking for.  I couldn’t tell how the admissions staff were going to take that.  Ultimately I had to accept that the next stage of my life would be determined by someone else’s decision.

Last year I felt even worse than when I had applied to University.  I was applying to professional performing arts training courses knowing that this is what I truly wanted to do with my life and if I wasn’t accepted I would be full of regret for not applying when I was younger.  There were so many questions I had to answer.  Why did you not apply straight out of school? Are you truly committed? Did you fail? This route is not a back up option.  I knew why I made the decisions I did.  I needed University and wasn’t ready for a full time immersive course.  I had to, as cheesy as it sounds ‘find myself’.  Of course I know it isn’t a back up option, that’s why I didn’t apply in the first place, I couldn’t give the course the attention it needed when I was 18.  I needed to work on myself before I could work on being other people.  And no, I didn’t fail I chose to leave I was not forced. 

This was the hardest decision I had ever made, constantly justifying it to people was draining.  Ultimately I knew my reasons, it made the audition process hard, but for me I was mentally prepared to start my training.  Although it doesn’t seem like it, in the end it  is only your opinion that truly matters.  However I am plenty guilty of letting others opinions get the best of me.

If you feel the pressure to decide your future remember there isn’t a time limit.  Yes, if you get started now you can move forward faster, but you need to move in the right direction.  Until you know what that direction is, take a break and breathe.  Think about what your passions are, if that’s not obvious take time to find something you can’t live without.  It took me giving up what made me me, to realise that, that was me.  I was scared that I was defined by what I had always done and that I had nothing else.  Now, I realise that I was lucky to have found something I was passionate about at such a young age.

There are no limits to what you can love or who you can be, but there is limited time, spend it wisely, doing things you love, and finding things to love.

laurajoan

Changing Direction

Our lives are ever changing journeys with various views and choices of destination.

We embark on journeys with a plan.  Often we stick to the shortest and most convenient route.  However this, in most cases is not the only road.

Along the way there are unforeseen circumstances which might make us turn in another direction, make a u turn, or head toward a different destination.

Recently the route I was taking became a 4 year long roundabout.  One year in I felt as though this was a means to an end.  The roundabout was the scenic route however the view became the same blur, giving me nothing new, only visions of the direction I could have traveled.  Why wait 3 more years to continue with a journey which is no longer fulfilling, when I could drive back and make a new plan?

The final destination has stayed the same, I am now just looking at it from another perspective.  The route has been adjusted.  It is a steep hill but I will know that I am moving forward in the right direction, at least for now.

laurajoan

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