Trial and Response (Rekindling the Flame)

Well, I must start off by saying that it has been too long since I last wrote anything on here, which, to be frank is pretty shitty on my part. Yet I must also acknowledge Brecon’s great efforts to put in the time to share her wonderful ideas and pieces of writing – that just fluidly roll off the tongue – so that you actually have something to read and respond to in this space. So this is my rekindling, my time to reignite the flame of creativity and expression, but also production!

Earlier this year, I had been very inspired by Refinery 29’s YouTube series ‘living with Lucie.’  In the series, production designer and stop motion editor Lucie Fink, takes on a specific task for a week, e.g Waking up at 5.a.m or going a week without social media etc. At the end of each video she talks about how the task impacted her in ways that can effectively change her lifestyle for the better. So feeling inspired, I decided that during the month of April, I would set myself a different task each week, for the entire month. So here’s the low down;

Week 1: 5 Days of NO Social Media

The first week was quite an eye opener, it really showed me how much time I actually spend on social media, even from day one! On Monday when I found myself feeling bored with nothing to do, because usually I would be scrolling through insta or snapchatting or something social media related. So instead I played my guitar and read a magazine, which actually was very relaxing and I felt more relaxed reading a book than I would staring a screen. So throughout the week, I found myself getting into quite the routine of ignoring my phone and turning to the broader options. Yet, as the week began to close, I forgot that I wasn’t meant to be using social media, for example, I had decided that YouTube was a type of social media and that I was not to use it. However, that clearly did not cross my mind in Friday’s ‘free period’ German class. I had already been watching some random film trailer with the rest of the girls, when I thought, ‘hey let’s look at some more random film trailers.’ Thankfully it wasn’t long before my brain regenerated, and I had exited the browser, but I was so ashamed of my dreadful actions. As a result, the first week had been deemed to be quite difficult as I found myself feeling quite vulnerable in various situations where everyone around me was using it. Additionally it had proven even more difficult, as there were people I needed to contact for various reasons, and couldn’t do so without Facebook and or messenger. So there were significant road blocks, yet I was able to actually stop and realize how much time I waste staring at minuscule screen, when there are actually better things out there to be doing!

Week 2: No Sugar

Week two was quite a ride, as it definitely had it’s moments. The start of the week was just as challenging as the end, however in very different ways. Throughout the week, the only sugar I admitted myself to was fruit. No juice, cake, cookies or anything else filled with the sweet delight that the world knows as sugar. So in the first few days I would find myself pondering different ways I could have snacks, as I would usually pig out over the cookie jar or fill up on crackers. ‘What, crackers?’ I hear you exclaim. Yes, the crackers that we often have with dips and cheese or other delicious toppings, often have artificial sugar in them. I soon discovered this after eating a number of them at lunch one day… oops. So from then onward I had to read the ingredients were in certain foods that I was either unfamiliar with or that my family and I often ate but were blindly consuming artificial sugar. Another challenge I faced was not having any beverage containing sugar, therefore, this limited me to tea and water, as they were the only two drink that I could think of that didn’t have any sugar in them. Therefore, I barely drank water, as I sheepishly found it tasting rather dull, or dirty at times. So this left me with tea. The only bad thing about only having tea to drink was the amount of effort it required each time I wanted a drink. Yet, it meant that I wasn’t permitted to laziness, otherwise I would be really thirsty – which by the end of the week I was for some reason. Anyway, my biggest challenge was on the last day. Now it wasn’t because I was desperate to scoff down a cookie or a piece of chocolate, no no. On the very last day – where I was most vulnerable  to consume sugar- I decided to bake two cakes. Yep, sounds like stupid idea, and it was, it really was. The entire time I was in almost a psychedelic world of temptation. But, I managed to hold back and not let any of it get anywhere near my lips. But, man, it took a world of self-control, I’m telling ya now! Something I found out afterwards, which was a bit strange, was that after I brought sugar back into my system, I found myself to be very… gassy. Overall it was a very good experience and it really does show how blindly we all consume sugar. But what does it matter, tastes good… right?

Week 3: Mix and match – Mainly reading

The last week was a bit of a challenge to figure out what to do. So in the beginning I decided to wake up at 5 am every day for the rest of the week. However, after the first day, I found that I was extremely exhausted, and my parents made it clear that my mood wasn’t the best. So I decided that I would read for at least 2 hrs every day. This really did help in the end as I was assigned a book to read of the mid-term break, which I finished due to this task. I’m not an avid reader, so there was often a time where I would drift off and then wake again after about half an hour. Yet, I did find that, based on the book I was reading, – To kill a Mockingbird- that I was greatly enlightened on the aspect of living in the 1930’s in south america. So it opened my mind a little more to the fact that ‘fictional’ literature can be educational in the aspect of reality.

Since then life got exceedingly busier and I have sadly gotten lazier, but overall it was both an educational and challenging learning experience but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Love Rachel xx

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