On the Plate: Viet Shack

Where: Ancoats, like you are walking to where Toys R Us was from the NQ
Price: Justified
Tastiness Factor: 💯
Return Custom: Yus, I need to eat all the things!

So I have been visiting Viet Shack for over a year now in its original Arndale Market home. The Arndale market isn’t the best place to eat food, it is super busy, smells like fish and doesn’t look all that great, but it is a great hub for buying independent and low-cost food. I don’t really get why the food court is necessary compared to this place. I mean I do, familiar takeaway food for the disengaged and lazy masses lured by the quick and cheap high-calorie fix that the capitalist pigs have tricked us into wanting through years of exploitation. I have eaten there a couple of times. But the food market is also quick and reasonably priced with a wider variety of choice of much tastier foods. This is where Viet Shack started, a restaurant that I believe will be one of the best loved restaurants in Manchester. It already has a strong following of market patrons that queued outside for a seat on opening night.

So what’s all the fuss about? For me, Viet Shack combines the fantastic fresh flavours of Vietnamese cuisine with the western palate for fast food, creating unique dishes for modern food truck-loving tastes. The Quack Fries, for example, is one of my favourite dishes, crispy spiced fries topped with juicy duck breast, chillies, spring onion and drizzled with chilli jam. Salty, umami with a sweet and spicy zing, Quack Fries are where it is at. So much so that when struggling to decide what to eat out of the the many mouth-watering menu options I ordered a main meal and shared the fries with my tall friend as a generous side. By generous side for two, I mean as a single dish eaten by one person there is a big plate of food to enjoy. This reflects the change in price from the market days and the move towards restaurant-style dining on meals rather than quick bites. I would say that the prices have almost doubled, but the portions are larger and there are clear costs of running a restaurant that need to be covered. Plus, in relation to the prices of the similar fooderies in the area they are pretty spot on.

My main meal was the lemongrass chicken with sticky rice. Healthier than the fries but just as tasty. The chicken was cooked perfectly and really well seasoned. There weren’t any other flavors to contend but there were little bottles of sriracha and hoisin sauce on each table if you want to add a little something. Plus the addition of fresh carrot and salad to the dish was quite welcome so the meal wasn’t a meaty carboload.

I think that something Viet Shack could offer is side dishes, they do small plates but sometimes you just want a little something extra rather than lots of smaller things. I liked when it was the market stall and it was reasonable to order more than one dish, like a salad with fries, but now the portions and prices have increased this isn’t so easy unless you have a tall friend who can fill his legs with what you can’t manage. Now, I’m not just saying this because I want to eat nearly everything they have, because I can go back to do that. Ordering a smaller salad or portion of veg/carbs is a good way to give customers more options to balance out their meals and also make additional sales without having to create new menu items. Sides are just bits from meals that are already available. Man, I didn’t realise I was so passionate about this…

Anyway, I’m going back for a burger and you should go to. Take a date and impress them with how cool and trendy you are as well as sharing a fantastic meal.

P.S. I you do venture out to the Arndale market check out the younger sibling of Viet Shack- Fusion Lab, you won’t be disappointed.

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What’s in a home anyway?

I’m starting to get the feeling like life is a journey on a cruel and uneven road. But it’s not quite a rollercoaster. Sorry, Ronan. The road has evened off after the bumpy track it was on. Then suddenly, the person you had hired your wagon from says they want it back much sooner than agreed. The clear stretch of road darkens into trees and you can’t see what’s ahead anymore. If you don’t find a new wagon soon you will have to ride the donkeys.   

I had finally got settled in a new job, I was making savings, eating better and starting to look forward to things once more. Then I had to move house. Being uprooted isn’t fun, particularly when it’s not your choice and there isn’t much that can be done to help matters (other than putting on my big girl pants, stalking Rightmove updates and minimising my incidences of sobbing to a reasonable number). Having a home where I feel secure and comfortable is important and acts as a solid foundation for how I enjoy my day to day life. But increasingly the rental market prioritises the landlord’s needs and desires. It’s starting to seem as though to have stability, to put up a shelf, bed some plants or have a little cat is a luxury that most people can’t afford. The luxury of home ownership. This isn’t about how ‘millennials’ will never buy a house, my oldest friend bought a house as soon as she moved out, this is about how renting is a trap. A money pit. My friend who bought a house was able to do so in part thanks to savings from not renting. Not paying someone else’s mortgage. But again this isn’t the issue I want to air right now. Buying a house is difficult and fewer and fewer people are able to do so but having a home should not be difficult.

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Out with the old

Having a place to call ‘your own’ (even if technically the property of someone else) I believe is a very deep rooted desire for humans and most animals. We nest, burrow and build in aid of providing shelter for ourselves and closest loved ones. Shelter is a basic need, but the sense of home, to me, is a very important basis for emotional fulfilment. It covers several points in  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, plainly meeting physiological and safety but also psychological contentment. Homesickness, for example, isn’t just about the people or culture but also the physical place, the streets, the shops, your room and its unique smell you only notice when you are away for a while. You miss the place, which is made up of all these things including physical objects. Materialism is looked down on (it’s bad for the environment, it’s pretty shallow and capitalism is evil) but I like having my stuff in place that I get to feel like is mine and that I find agreeable. The view of the roses as I wash vegetables in the sink. The place for his computer and my Lego. The TV framed by our books, films and tokens. The flow of the space that our days together ran through. I didn’t want to lose.

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In with the new…

Having to rebuild my sense of home somewhere different and just as I felt rooted, after an already trying year, has caused some degree of emotional unbalance. Distress sounds like an exaggeration, you know ‘Boo-hoo, I have to find a new house to live in, something very poor people don’t have the luxury to do’, so I will stick with unbalance. But there is the financial damage caused on top of this; I’ve had to cough up my savings that I wanted to use to have my first proper holiday abroad as an adult. Postponing such plans to pay for rental admin fees–paying money to pay someone to stay in a house they own. It’s like buying a ticket to a food festival then having to buy all your food as well. It is a loss of a few hundred pounds, that quite a lot of people today don’t have to spare. I know that for certain, if this were a few months earlier while working on a low hours minimum wage contract, having to suddenly move would have meant needing to borrow money or moving back to live with my family.
I should like to think that a good service is provided for this, the last estate agent did, but at present I live in a house that I had to clean when I moved in (after cleaning my old house), with a broken bathroom window, a leaky toilet and rickety floorboards that one night will give me a sprained ankle. I paid money to have the property be checked to be in good and clean condition. I have also paid money to ensure if I cause any damage to the property this cost is covered but right now the property is more likely to damage me. I can’t exactly maintain good upkeep of poor conditions.
All these things can quite easily wind me up. The cost of it all, monetarily, physically moving and emotionally are compounded by the fact that my old home was better. Lighter, more spacious, less overlooked, greener garden… lots of little things really. Mainly though, I know that I was happy there. Capable of great happiness. Content, safe, at home. And so far in the new place I’m irritated, falling over half-unpacked things, unsettled and generally feeling unjustly put upon. However, regretfully, it is beginning to seem that often in the real world things aren’t all that just.

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I don’t know, this has got away from me somewhat. I guess really, now, this is about how I feel. The last house I lived in was the first place I called home outside of where I grew up with my parents. In the house I used to live I began my adult life, I made love on its floors and painted my blood on its walls. From hours, to days, to months I was building. Memories on memories, like bricks, to create a ‘home’.  Moving scared me. I didn’t want to lose what I had. The new house falls short of what I used to have but I’m starting to realise that I haven’t lost my home. My home isn’t a place because my home is where I have never felt anything more. My home is with him, where I feel complete.

 

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and my ‘Thing’ with Remakes

I have been a fan of Buffy since I was about 7. I was a pretty tough kid, so with a couple of exceptions (looking at you season seven flesh-eating green creep) I didn’t find it that scary. I don’t want to be flippant, but in the way of many things we experience in our lives, Buffy has shaped who I am today. My sense of humour, enthusiasm for ass-kicking females, an early understanding of queer relationships, my interest in comic books and the confidence that women can be powerful and are entitled to take up space are all things that I have taken with me.

For me Buffy the Vampire Slayer is important. I love it, it’s not perfect but it is my favourite TV show. So finding out about a potential remake isn’t sitting to well for me. A reboot yes! A new vampire slayer with a new story, her own journey and life to claim – do it. That would be excellent, in fact there are tonnes of Buffyverse lore that you could tease a story from.  To me, remake is a pretty dirty word. To start with, it lacks imagination and creativity. It really wouldn’t be difficult to give this new slayer a different name and bunch of Scoobies. Today’s entertainment market is saturated with adaptations, remakes/reboots and sequels/prequels. Hollywood is busting at the money bag seams with franchises that may outlive a lot of us.

But why is a reboot better than a remake? A remake means taking the same story, same characters and same plot and basically filming it with younger people with a more modern style (and probably cultural references).  So thinking about age, the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired in 1997, over 20 years ago. After recently re-watching the series with my tall friend some aspects that haven’t aged well are a little jarring. The whole Xander thing he has with Buffy in the first few seasons is pretty icky, he is possessive and entitled and the epitome of the friendzoned nice-guy. But he is also a teenager, and speaking as someone who was one, teens aren’t always the most socially and morally adept individuals. Excuses aside, certain social aspects of the show could be reevaluated (Willow is BI and I will fight you on this). The technical side of stuff could definitely look better too, the very early CGI is quite bad; however I don’t see why this can’t be improved along with a blu-ray release of the show in original aspect ratio, pretty please?

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There really isn’t much that a remake can add to a show that is a cult classic, a reboot however is the opportunity to explore the Buffyverse further, give young girls today a new hero (a WOC is an excellent way to go) and do justice to the show’s dedicated fanbase without desecrating what they love.  Plus what’s empowering about putting one woman in another’s shoes? To have her relive a story already told and not make her own journey? A new Buffy show should be about a new slayer not a ‘Buffy’. I know what you may argue here, ‘What about the film?’ Well, despite its good ideas and intentions the film is trash, the show is not.

Maybe this is what a butthurt fanboy sounds like, and now I understand their pain.  But I think this is different. Ocean’s 8 and the new lady Ghostbusters were reboots, new stories, new characters – same key idea. These stories stood by themselves, making links to their predecessors without repudiating the past. One of the things that I love about Buffy is the characters: Willow, Gilles, Dawn, Spike… they and their representations are important to me and I don’t want to see them rewritten.  I can however console myself with this; if this is a straight remake, I don’t have to watch it. I have the original show, the enjoyment I get from it and the way it has shaped me won’t change. While a new show with different characters would be a more ideal and respectful revival of the Buffyverse, they can’t take away what has gone before.

Update:I wrote this piece a couple of weeks ago, it has since been announced* the new show will be a reboot and not about remaking Buffy herself. I am personally looking forward to seeing a new chick kicking vampire ass.

*https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/26/17619650/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-monica-owusu-breen-reboot-sequel-series-new-slayer-fray-comics

On the Plate: I am Pho

Where: A chinatown basement opposite the supermarket with the good kimchi
Price: Just right
Tastiness Factor: 😲
Return Custom: I have already been twice, so yeah…

I need to tell you guys something. I have a new favourite sandwich and it doesn’t have mayonnaise in it! This is a big deal, I know some people don’t like it but I’m the sort of person who has mayo with chips, nuggets and even on toast… Yes I know I’m gross, whatever. The point being, it is pretty standard of me to use mayo as a butter substitute in a sandwich as I find it is tastier and adds an element of moisture. The chicken bánh mì at I am Pho, from what I could briefly tell before devouring my half, did not have mayonnaise in (or much anyway) and it was quite easily the tastiest sandwich I have ever eaten. If there is anything good about colonialism*, it is this sandwich. It has the best things, the tastiest Viet/French baguette that is crispy on the outside and warm and fluffy inside. The juicy sweet meat is then paired with the crunchy and fresh salad balancing the rich and crisp flavours and it is sooo good.  Please go and eat one, or three, they have different fillings that really prove that simple ingredients can make the most delicious food.

Now, I did get ahead of myself there. The restaurant is called I am Pho (fuh- like fu-nny), so that dish is pretty important to the restaurant’s identity. My initial visit to I am Pho was to have pho, at the time I was looking for something tasty that would fill me up, but also wasn’t unhealthy like a pile of fries with a burger. And I got all those things. Pho is an excellent comfort food, that you feel nourishing you as you eat. For those who are unfamiliar its western equivalent would be chicken noodle soup, but I use that term loosely as pho is so very much souperior and it comes in bowls big enough to drown a child or an adult with a small head*.  The pho is tasty as it is, not spicy and wouldn’t be too challenging for a strong western palate as it is a delicious stock based soup that takes hours to make. You can have it as you you wish at I am Pho, with a range of condiments to choose; you can spice or sauce things up however you like and you also add your own amounts of fresh ingredients including: mint, chilli, bean sprouts and lime. It is an intensely satisfying dish that will help ward off all manner of ailments*.

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In addition to the pho, I tried the egg and crab noodle soup that was also brilliant. Richer and more complex than the pho, which isn’t to disregard the latter, both are great in their own way. Other dishes on offer include the summer rolls which I enjoyed with moreish satay dip, but my tall friend wasn’t a fan of the squishy texture. Again, fairly healthy in comparison to dining out experiences trusting you don’t lick the dish of satay sauce clean like I did. My only critique of I am Pho is that the chairs need replacing as they are looking a bit tired and icky, but that’s just another reason for you to go and give them your money so that they can buy more.

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*I in no way condone colonisation. It is bad and I have not studied this era.

*Please don’t murder.

*Don’t quote me on that.

My Month in Films:March

So while I work my way into better habits and tighter trousers, I’m keeping it tame in the food department. I could tell you once more about places I’ve revisited to eat but I want things to be fresh. My new attempts at self-improvement haven’t stopped me from visiting the cinema, and as I realised this morning I’ve been a few times this last month and I have a little to say about each experience.

Black Panther

How should you see it: However you like, just do
How does it look: Collectively, like nothing I’ve seen before
Entertainment value: Better than most MCU films
Quality cinema rating: 3/5

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As the MCU’s first non white-male lead I was anxious early for it to succeed, particularly after the delay of Captain Marvel, the historically blatant lack of Black Widow film and the hiring of Oscar-winning actresses as love interests. Proving to Marvel and Disney that white-male heroes aren’t all we want to see was important considering the box office monopoly they have for their releases. I was concerned, after see the promotional images, that Black Panther would be too ‘different’ and fantastical to really pick up. But I’m also the person that heard about a talking raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy and thought it would fail. So despite how I may act, I’m not always right and I’m very grateful in these circumstances to be wrong.

To me Black Panther succeeds because it is different, we have a high-budget wide release Western film that is exploring African culture and heritage in a way that hasn’t happened since The Lion King (and that was mainly white people pretending to be animals) . The music, clothing, and settings are all new and diverse to the MCU’s catalogue. This wouldn’t work without a fantastic cast, engaging story and strong direction but with those alone I don’t think people would have seen this film more than Frozen if it wasn’t special.

So here are some of the reasons the film is great. The bare plot isn’t the most original but the execution of the story will reel you in. The characters are engaging and the risk in their lives feels very real. Often the stakes in action films can seem overblown and flimsy but with Black Panther you understand the potential cost of characters’ actions and their emotional value. With the exception of Martin Freeman’s character; he brought nothing to the film other than his weak American accent.

One of the most individual and strongest features of the film is its style. The regal thumping score of drums and wooden pipes beats like a heart through the film. The music flows and rises, taking you through the emotions on screen, providing a truly distinct and frankly awesome soundtrack. The costumes are also memorable, Wakandans wearing vibrant colours and with intricate designs, the dowager Queen rocking a level of ‘wow’ and sophistication that would make Queen Amidala look like a child in fancy dress (which, in fairness, she was). Certain sequences in the film combine these elements to a great effect, such as the casino scene followed by a fast and furious car chase. While by themselves those are exciting and glamorous, the scenes are just made a lot cooler with the sweet soundtrack and killer costumes. In particular Danai Gurira’s character exacerbated removal of her wig once her cover is blown so that she can kick some ass.

This said, I do feel like my expectations of the film where harmed by the sheer hype. Black Panther isn’t The Dark Knight, which redefined what a superhero movie could be and was also a technical feat of filmmaking. Black Panther does have the elements of this but maybe I just didn’t like it as much. Perhaps more importantly, I know that this film will mean a lot to other people, particularly kids who don’t get to see themselves as heroes like this, making Black Panther a culturally significant film.

Lady Bird

How should you see it:  With bottle of wine at home on the sofa
How does it look: Like a photo of a sleepover taken with a disposable camera
Entertainment value: Tears, laughter and secondhand embarrassment–what more do you need?
Quality cinema rating: 5/5

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I have been excited about this film before the acclaim and fuss of awards season. I’m a Greta Gerwig fan for sure. She is an active part of one of my favourite film genres: Greta Gerwig Films (quirky independent comedies with a female lead). She has collaborated with partner Noah Baumbach on a number of films, most notably Frances Ha, which I highly recommend, but Lady Bird sees Gerwig take the directional reins.

But was it any good? Short answer: yes, quite good.

Long answer: Lady Bird is is a teenage film minus the bullshit. There are no grand gestures, make-up transformations, and promises that everything will be fine. It’s realistic and in turn entirely relatable. Considering this, I wonder how much of Gerwig there is in Ladybird’s story, but I’m happy not knowing it doesn’t affect how I see the film. Which is not the story of a specific individual but of many who have experienced high school post-9/11. That said, the main character is Christine “Lady Bird” McPhereson, played by the poised Saoirse Ronan (who has more shit together than me and five other people I know) is a spotty skinny teenage girl who isn’t getting into an Ivy League university and isn’t particularly talented. She has one main goal, to move to New York for University, but financial family pressures and academic achievement stand in her way. I’m not going to explain the plot, that’s what IMDB is for, but that’s the key plotpoint.

The best parts of this film are its subtle and surprising nature. The humour and emotion in this film arrive unexpectedly. You aren’t just laughing after a punchline or crying when the lead does, you are invested in the characters and story, not as a voyeuristic third party but almost as a friend sharing the experience. This is a part of why the film is special and uniquely enjoyable. Another aspect of this is its representation of relationships, specifically the way the characters relate to one another. The mother-daughter relationship is the most challenging and dynamic of the film and the stakes are greatest here. Lady Bird is preparing to leave her family home and the nature of who she and her mother  are to one another is changing. The differences between the two characters is clear, unrelated they would not make good friends, as such they tussle with one another to find these new roles and establish an equilibrium.

The soft and grainy nature of the film compliments its nostalgic feeling, not to say that it romanticizes teenage life–quite the opposite. Ladybird’s life is awkward, confusing, fun and has all the emotional waves that surging hormones bring.This is a charming film offering a fresh perspective on the transition from teenager to young adult. Watch it at home with your friends and remember how things used to feel and the journey that you have all been through.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

How should you see it: At the cinema, on a stupid big screen
How does it look: Like a 12 year-old’s Bionicle fantasy
Entertainment value: Like riding a fast roller coaster while listening to Aerosmith-cheesy but good
Quality cinema rating: 2/5

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I have been looking forward to the Pacific Rim sequel for some time now. The first film was everything a big action film should be, paying homage to big creature movies and giving us compelling and diverse characters to root for.

The new film, I don’t feel, will have the same cultural impact because it doesn’t feel as fresh as the first. But I bought my film tickets wanting two things: John Boyega and big mechs fighting big monsters. And I was not disappointed. I feel like his Attack the Block character has graduated to bigger nasties and Boyega brings real fun and life to the screen, he is greatly entertaining to watch. Particularly when paired with the cardboard cut-out of an American action hero, Clint–sorry–Scott Eastwood, who admittedly does play into the whole stale stereotype pretty well. If you go to see this film wanting to have a good time and see some cool fights then this will give it to you. I’m not going to talk at length about this because this article is too long and I want to publish it before April ends but you should watch Pacific Rim: Uprising when you don’t feel like taking everything super seriously. However I do recommend a cinema trip for it because it makes the big things look even bigger which just adds to the excitement, plus you won’t miss anything too important if you need the loo, as in typical action film style things are spelt out fairly regularly.

Upcoming next month: I Love Dogs, Avengers: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare: The Movie and the Shhhh Shhh film.

Rebuilding: New Year, Old Me

Earlier this week I picked up my laptop to start typing out a version of these thoughts only to realise that I probably, after two months of ignoring the messages, I should update the operating system. What should have taken half an hour, took most of the evening. After a few errors the best and quickest way to make my machine usable was to wipe it clean. All the videos, songs, games, random files I don’t know what they did but was too afraid to delete–gone.
As a non-idiotic user of technology the important and irreplaceable stuff is backed up into the cloud. So don’t worry, my unpublished memoirs of teen angst are safe. The Sims 3 is gone though, about 100gb of expansion packs and mods and the save games of countless play hours. But that’s OK. Some things need to be let go of. The Sims 3 wasn’t ported to Mac properly and would consistently crash, as well as taking up valuable hard drive space. It wasn’t doing my computer any good. So now I’ve solidly moved on to The Sims 4 on my tall friend’s gaming suitable pc and my laptop is running happily and clutter-free. To move on and make things be better I had to start over.

I’m not really into making new year’s resolutions. There is something icky and  terribly forced about them. According to the media everyone is on a diet or ‘lifestyle change’, which is good for them. Trying to be better is the best we can do. But undoubtedly you will know someone who’s bought Joe Wicks’s book intending to change their lives only for it to now be forgotten and dusty on the bookshelf. You’ll have friends who stopped drinking for a week and a half just to give up on pay day. And people who are trying vegan but don’t actually know what they can eat. Resolutions are a fad, a marketing ploy for post-Christmas retail, and at worst mild-bragging material useful in polite small talk between colleagues. Eugh.
But I’m really into making this year better. Last year I didn’t visit a single new place, I gained weight, I lost confidence and I didn’t have many nice things to think of when ringing in the new year. Yet, I couldn’t help think about how good the year before was. 2016 was (comparatively) the tits. I was happy and healthy and did some cool stuff. So instead of a ‘new me’ I going back to what made me and that year so great.
Diet does play a big part of this, not necessarily eating less (just until I’ve lost the depression pounds) but eating more of the green stuff and cutting down on treats. As someone that loves food, so much so that as a child I would feel cheated not getting three square meals a day, acknowledging that certain foods don’t love me back is a little tricky. But everyone is different and eating white bread and sugary foods shouldn’t be the usual. Plus, eating less meat and dairy in general, as I used to, makes me feel better physically and emotionally better.  I’m also not really drinking (and don’t say Dry January or I will tear out my hair but good for you if that’s what you like). For January, yes but not limited to. Drinking is expensive and unhealthy but I like it, so taking time off to break the habit is good for me. This also means that I had some red wine the other day but I’ve not messed everything up and decided to drink as much as I please.
Reading is something else that I let slip last year. There were months where I didn’t read a single book, which is pretty lame because I love books. To reform this habit my tall friend and I are making time to just sit and read before bed. If you want to be a better version of you the people that you love will want to support you, even in simple ways, it makes a difference.

What I’m doing this year is making changes I know I can keep. Using the past as evidence, I’m still looking forward to the year ahead and sticking to my convictions. As someone that really needs a bit of good in 2018 I’m cultivating it in myself. I’m feeling better and I’m hopeful.

 

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Falling, Then Getting Up Again

Recently I was getting regular exercise, I was building a new network of friends for the first time since high school, I was both financially stable and comfortable and (for the first time in a year) I was crafting a future that I could to look forward to. Then I lost all these things in one day.

I don’t like failing at things. I’m a highly critical person, a conscientious type that feels anxious about mismatched socks, so when I fail after trying at something I don’t take it well. It’s disheartening, upsetting and the bigger the thing the harder it can be to get over. I’d like to take a moment here and blame books and movies for this, it’s not often that when the hero tries their best that they don’t succeed. This is what young adulthood is for, I guess, gradually learning that things aren’t fair.

Losing at games isn’t too difficult for me, it’s not as fun as winning, but I’m mature enough to still enjoy playing and participate. But I could have taken my recent setbacks better. Too many days I spent on the sofa, staring at the Gilmore Girls, gently weeping, getting fatter and seemingly more hopeless.  My situation has changed slightly now, I don’t have any more Gilmore Girls to watch for a start, but now I’m out the house at irregular hours for shifts in another job that I’m not sure how long I will have. Also, with Christmas approaching it is difficult not to be constantly reminded how utterly broke I am. But after three months of moping I finally ready to pull my socks up, it is getting colder after all.

I need to take care of myself. If falling down a flight of stairs drunkenly and having a banged up knee for weeks has taught me anything it should be that. Facing that long term happiness isn’t at the bottom of a pizza box will be a challenge, but I have to make myself stronger. I don’t necessarily have mistakes to learn from, I just need to develop better ways of coping with failure because I know that more bad things will happen in the future. How I deal with them will determine if I grow or wither.

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So for anyone reading this who is also having a bad time, here are somethings that might help:

  • Cry: let it all out, ugly snotty sobbing. 
  • Find a source of positivity. I follow The Rock on Instagram, he posts about keeping fit, working hard and sharing that success with others. His public personality is giving and caring, it’s nice to have reminders of a little good in the world. 
  • Talk to your family. Whether that’s a partner, parents or friends. Hug and blow your nose on their t-shirts. If you would be there for them trust they’d do the same.
  • Leave the house. Some days leaving the bed can be hard, never mind washing/dressing/looking remotely presentable enough to be seen by outsiders. But fresh air is dope and leaving the house to get milk or visit the park can really make you feel better. I wish I had done so more. 
  • Take away things that you use/exploit in bad ways. For some people this could be eating all the chocolate in their house at once, for others it’s drinking certain types of alcohol alone until they can’t pick up the cup anymore. Just don’t hurt yourself more than you are already hurting.

So this is me saying hello again. I hope you are well like I’m trying to be.