The podcast stops playing on my phone as it begins to ring. I see the name of a friend flash up. I’ve taken many calls in the past week, but I don’t have anything left. I look down at my messy clothes, I feel my unbrushed hair and teeth, and my general sense of disarray.
My hand is hovering over the phone on the counter, and eventually, it stops ringing. I feel two things mainly. Firstly, I feel sadness. Sadness because I don’t have the energy to talk to my friend on the phone. Secondly? Utter embarrassment.
Does your mental illness ever make you feel embarrassed? When you are at your lowest, the simplest things are impossible, and it’s hard not to be distraught.
When I’m depressed I can barely get out of bed, nevermind shower. So if a friend turns up randomly at my home, I’m probably not clean. This makes me feel ashamed for my state of being. Although it cannot be helped, it still hurts.
Also, I can’t sleep at night, so I usually sleep between 7am and 10am. I can hear you say, “you need to adopt a more healthy sleep pattern,” and I agree. It doesn’t mean I’m not trying, it just means it’s not working.
Mostly for me though, the hardest part of the depression, is the brain fog. The dissociation. I can’t string sentences together. I find driving difficult. It amps up my anxiety which feeds my depression. If I could get off the hamster wheel I would, but all I can do it wait for it to slow down.
I was able to do some washing today. This is a big win for me. Sometimes I’m fine. I’m ok, I can work, and read, and wash and learn, and not be hard on myself.
Sometimes though, I need to rest.
There are many vasts posts about mental health and no one solution.
The one that works for me, that makes me feel less embarrassed is I don’t take myself too seriously. Life is a wonder, and it’s amazing to be alive, but it doesn’t make it any less strange. I’m still a valid person, and my inactivity does not define my worth.
This year has been wonderful for interactions with other bloggers, cementing friendships and even learning new facts about each other. You know already I’m a huge fan of Lee’s Hall of Information, and his commitment to writing never ceases to amaze me.
Have you read Jack Thorn: A Story of the Future:
He’s kindly nominated Thinking Moon for the Sunshine Blogger Award and I couldn’t be more humbled. He is always out there supporting other indie authors by reviewing their work, keeping up his blog, writing books and plays.
He has published four books which are available on Amazon.
Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
My questions for nominees:
Why did you start blogging?
Sometimes when I’m writing my blog I ask myself the same thing. Am I adding value? Is my writing good enough? Are people enjoying it? Eventually, I realised that it didn’t really matter because two things were happening. I was practising my writing skills and I was joining a wonderful community.
To make a long story short, to practice and have a portfolio to show people.
Who is your go-to blogging influence/blogger that inspires you?
There are a good few, and Lee is definitely one of them. I adore Megan from A Geeky Gal, she is so inspirational. Finally (there are more these are just the main ones), A Stoner On A Rollercoaster. She published her own poetry book this year and it is genuinely beautiful.
Name 3 music albums that shaped your life?
Ooohhhhhh really hard to narrow it down but definitely “Hotel California,” by the Eagles, “Jagged Little Pill,” by Alanis Morrisette, and finally “Fumbling Towards Ecstacy,” by Sarah McLachlan. I grew up listening to the Eagles and still love them to this day.
Alanis has many excellent albums, but this was the first one that made me realise that women can be badass rocks stars too. Finally, two of Sarah McLachlan’s song were featured in Buffy The Vampire Slayer season finales, so, need I say anymore?
Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morisette
Hotel California – Eagles
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy – Sarah McLachlan
Is there something out there who you think is underrated?
There is so much out there that is underrated, especially when it comes to art. There are so many musicians I love that are just scraping by. However for fun: Mooncake is totally underrated! Final Space is a great show and I just don’t think it gets the love it deserves.
Which season of the year do you prefer and why?
I was born in Spring but I’ve always felt like an Autumn child. I love the colours, the cosiness and of course, HALLOWEEN! Last year throughout October I had some very special blog posts and stories. So look out for that again this year.
Name a television show or film you couldn’t live without?
I am currently reading new and rereading anthropology books. I am currently writing that section of my thesis at the moment. I just reread “The Forest People” by Colin M. Turnbull. This is the third time I read it and I still love it to this day. I highly recommend it you don’t need to be an anthropologist to enjoy it.
What are you currently writing?
My PhD confirmation transcript! I have an exam in November where I basically present my research so far and they say whether or not it’s good enough to go on! This is me below presenting my research to the faculty back in May so they can review what I’m doing.
Name something you don’t like but ‘everyone’ else does?
People are obsessed with pancakes and I just don’t get them. I’d much prefer something else for breakfast. Don’t worry if you’re offended by that Le’Boo thinks I’m crazy.
Do you have a profession outside of writing/blogging?
I’m an academic, and a trained anthropologist.
Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit but never have?
The Atacama desert in Chile, because it’s reportedly one of the best places to view the night sky and all the stars.
These nominees have less than 100 followers because I would like to spread the love for those working hard regardless of the size of their blog.
Soooooooooo I should have posted a 500 follower special here but I didn’t. Why? Likely because of the kind of human being I am. I also filmed the below video in April of this year, yet it’s only been edited and uploaded this week.
Why is this? Please Moonlings, no more questions I am simply too inconsistent to explain myself. I’ve written a post like this before, and that can be found here.
10 Random Facts About Me!
The facts are stated below without fanfare or pageantry. However, if you are interested in learning more about said facts then you will need to watch the video my dear moonlings.
I love baking!
I keep growing my hair long then cutting it short.
Diagnosed with depression & anxiety 3 years ago.
I’ve always wanted to be bilingual. (Beyond speaking Irish and English).
I play a couple of musical instruments.
I love YouTube!
I’m obsessed with mental coloured lipsticks. (I love colours).
I’m very into the Zero Waste lifestyle, sustainability and alternative food sources.
Moonlings! A Thinking Moon was nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by A Geeky Gal! Thank you so much I can’t express how satisfying it is to be recognised by the community. Especially someone as wonderful as Megan.
A Geeky Gal is an amazing writer and poet. If you are like me and you love all things geeky you will love her blog and YouTube channel. She also writes about serious topics such as mental health, introverts and burn-out. Thanks again A Geeky Gal for the nomination. I can’t wait to answer the questions, I love the interactivity of these awards!
Display the Award Logo.
Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
Answer the questions from the blog who nominated you.
My binge watch at the moment is on YouTube by one of the sweetest YouTubers of all time Thomas Sanders. He is an adorable talented puppy and I love him.
He is originally from Vine where you might remember him as the StoryTime guy. Now he makes these amazing videos called Sander Sides were he literally talks to different sides of his personality. It is kid-friendly, he has Broadway chops, and he writes all of his own stuff.
Oh, man I have so many. You may have noticed that I love colourful lipsticks. I have so many. I feel like if I put on mascara, pencil my brows and add a bold lip then boom! I’m all dressed up. No colour is out of the question for me. Blues, greens, blacks, I love them all! Here are some selfies I love taking with the lipsticks:
(Hover over the photos to see the names of the lipsticks)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – JSC
Blow Pony – JSC
Huntington Beach – JSC
Anna Nicole – JSC
Heroine – Maybelline
Abused – JSC
Lover – Maybelline
Voyager – Maybelline
Anna Nicole – JSC
Heroine – Maybelline
Weirdo – JSC
Poinsettia – JSC
Queen Supreme – JSC
Weirdo – JSC
Queen Supreme – JSC
Blow Pony – JSC
Huntington Beach – JSC
Jawbreaker – JSC
Another quirk I have is I also give all my plushies personalities and talk to them on a regular basis. If Le’Boo sits on one I make him apologise (He’s so patient!!!). I’ve even gone to the extent of making my Green Baby Squishy a YouTube Channel… click here.
Finally, I’m pretty sure it’s odd to nest every time I go to bed. Le’Boo finds this absolutely hilarious. I know everyone gets themselves comfortable when they get into bed, but I have a system ok?
III. Have you ever been to a convention?
No, sadly I have not. There aren’t a lot of conventions here on the little island of Ireland, and when there is they tend to be super packed. I’m totally anxious in large crowds, and it’s not like conventions you see in movies. There isn’t much room to walk around and you spend most of your time queueing. However, if I did go I would totally love to cosplay. I love cosplayers so much I even wrote about it in an anthropology essay in college.
IV. What would you rate 10 / 10?
Oh easy so “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” best T.V show ever so 10/10. The feeling of a fresh pair of socks, great sensation 10/10. Dried fried noodles, my favourite junk food 10/10. Reading is the best pastime, so 10/10. Finally, of course, Le’Boo is super handsome, 10/10, nay, 11/10.
V. When did you first realize you were a geek?
I think it was when I was very young. In the most cliche movie sense, people made fun of me because of the things I enjoyed. I loved reading, video games and science fiction.
I would play pretend and I would be told that’s a really childish thing to do. As I got older I just became more ‘geeky’ and instead of worrying about boys, I wanted the next Harry Potter instalment.
For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me and would only talk about geeky things to my closest friends.
Now I let my geek flag fly!
VI. What kind of art do you enjoy most?
I love comic book art for sure. I have several comic-inspired tattoos. Also cartoon art like Disney, Hannah Barbara, and Cartoon Network.
In regards to more traditional forms, I love tribal art, surrealist art, and Van Gogh is my favourite painter. I got to see some of his art in person in January. We visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and it was absolutely amazing.
My favourite of his is the almond blossom.
VII. What city would you most like to live in?
The aforementioned Amsterdam feels like it would be an absolutely wonderful city to live in. Check out my video about it on YouTube.
The Questions I would Like To Know
If you won a Grammy for any genre of music, what would it be?
Who is your favourite villain(s) from any universe?
What was your all-time favourite Halloween costume or cosplay you’ve done? Pictures, please!
What’s the weirdest trend you’ve ever actually partaken in?
What Movie / Play / Game soundtrack is your favourite?
Firstly sorry I missed last week, I was at a friend’s wedding. Happy one week anniversary Mr & Mrs Sweetman from myself and Le’Boo!
Well, Moonlings, don’t worry, today my thoughts on mental health are positive. Often I forget to write down how I’m feeling on a good day. Or maybe the processes that helped me get through a particularly bad day. I think once the bad day is over I’m so happy to be balanced again I neglect self-reflection.
So that’s what this is. A simple bit of self-reflection. I look back to when someone recently hurt my feelings, and how I processed those feelings so no more fighting happened.
Somebody bruised my ego. Look I’m not perfect(much to my chagrin), and when people say cruel things they sometimes hurt my feelings. Normally I’m pretty much used to people not understanding me or saying hurtful things in an unsolicited way. I’ve grown to have a thick skin because I like who I am, my style and how soft I am in regards to the flora and fauna of the world.
Some people don’t like that, they are afraid of what they can’t categorise or understand. Does this make me any less valid? It certainly does not.
I also have the added bonus of not doing something just because it’s always been done that way. (I’ve been called the black sheep in my family more than once). If we didn’t question our realities then citizens would still be legally allowed to own slaves in America, homosexuality would still be a crime in Ireland, and women would not be allowed to vote or own property.
Anyways I digress. Basically, I realised that when someone makes you feel bad, you are allowing them that right. Have you ever heard this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt?
“No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
This is a sentiment I come back to time and time again. If something cruel is making you feel bad, then there must be a break within yourself. The cruelty is an external force, and you cannot allow it to penetrate and become an internal force.
Notice how I wrote ‘a’ solution, and not ‘the’ solution as there are many ways to tackle mental health, and they are all valid as long as they follow this cardinal rule. They don’t harm another person. (This includes yourself because you are a person).
So I used one of my many solutions. The “letters we write, but never send,” method. Why do people do this? Surely talking it out is the only way to resolve a conflict between two sentient beings?
Nope. Sadly sometimes the other person is incapable of seeing things from your point of view. You cannot force them to see, because the only person you have control over is yourself. So what you must do is write down all your feelings, problems and thoughts so you can see them in a thoroughly organised way.
Address the letter to the person, tell them how they hurt you and why. Explain that you’ve tried to see from their perspective but you don’t understand because it seems unduly cruel. Then end with forgiveness and feel your calm returning.
I am not spouting ‘hippy’ nonsense, these methods do work to an extent. Especially on a once off fight or situation. However, if someone is being continual cruel or worse, abusive, you may simply need to walk away from that person.
Once you are done you can seal the envelope, burn it(safely), or even just rip it up and throw it away. Under no circumstances should you give the letter to the person, as this will just cause more hurt. Healing cannot happen if there is continued hurting on both sides.
Then do your best to forgive and move on, knowing that in your own heart it’s ok to be you.
Samaritans Ireland: Call: 116 123 or Text: 087 260 9090
Pieta International: Call: 1800 247 247 or Text: 51444
Yes I know you are all probably fed up of hearing about my YouTube channel and I understand that. I am just so close to 100 subscribers, I literally taste it! Basically, when you get 100 subs on YouTube you are able to make a custom URL and this would really help me out.
I promise the videos are fun and fresh just like an orange or petunia. All you need to do is subscribe and make my day! 🙂
Hello, Mooonlings thank you for joining me for another list this week. June tends to be quite listy(yes it’s a word) because it’s half-way through the year. So it feels right to review music, books and other sundry items. You may have guessed by now my love of music and my appreciation for multiple genres.
I have listened to so many new albums this year so far that I had to split the post into two parts for clarity. Part one is today where I discuss albums I choose myself either from a love of the artist or curiosity. Part two involves suggestions from fellow writing friends on twitter. I wanted them to have a separate post so I could include their Twitter bio and link if you were feeling like you wanted to go follow them.
Just for practicality reasons, the artists will be listed in alphabetical order as there was no rhyme or reason to the process in which I listened to the albums. I’m going to rate them out of 5 moons ☽ as stars are not close enough to my heart. It’s similar to the system of bananas, so I kind of stole that from The Orang-utan Librarian. Credit where credit is due!
Andreya Triana – Life In Colour – (3.5/5) ☽.☽.☽
This is a Lady I discovered through Bonobos album “Black Sands.” She was featured on a couple of songs and her voice completely entranced me. On this album, She kicks down the door with “Woman,” transitioned into bluegrass with “I Give You My Heart,” and then “How Deep My Love Goes,” is an instant classic.
“Songs in the key of life cures me in the moment.”
“Freedom,” is a total bop and this album, in general, is a lot of fun. Great music, and coming into the summer, it’s just what I needed. This is a sweet ode to love and her lover.
Her closing song “It’s gonna be alright,” is so soothing, and her voice makes me believe her.
Avril Lavinge – Head Above Water – (4/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽
Look I love Avril Lavinge. We are around the same age, and when I was an awkward teenager her music made me feel cooler than I ever really was.
For me, this album proved she’s still got that magic she had when she was 15 singing “Let Go.” There are songs on this album that evoke the same feelings within me.
“Head Above Water,” is one of those opening tracks that I can’t stop singing. Thinking about it makes me want to put the album on. She screams her lungs out on “Birdie,” then she soothes us with “Crush.”
“Fly away little bird.”
“Tell Me It’s Over,” is Avril’s old-timey ballad and I’m here for it. “Dumb Blonde” screams like her infamous track “Girlfriend.” Guys let’s just enjoy this collab with Nicki Minaj.
“It was in me” feels like an ode to Alanis Morissette’s “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie,” and “Souvenir,” to me feels like it was written about her ex-husband, Chad Kroger. Don’t agree? Comment below!
Beyoncé – Homecoming: The Live Album – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽.☽
Many people tell me Beyoncé is overrated and I guess some people have to be wrong, so us stans can be right.
While I am joking, and you have the right to think whatever you want, you can’t deny Beyoncé’s star power. I’ve watched the live film on Netflix, the performance brought me to tears many times. I’ve also been listening to “Homecoming” on repeat. It floors me every time.
Biosphere – The Senja Recordings – (2/5) ☽.☽.☽
Although I am a huge fan of Biosphere and one of my favourite ambient albums of all time is “Substrata,” I cannot recommend this one this to you. If you want ambient noise please feel free to listen, but his last musical album for me was “Departed Glories.” I still enjoyed this album as I did with “The Hilvarenbeek Recordings” but as far as music goes I cannot recommend this to you.
Chaka Khan – Hello Happiness – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽.☽
This Queen is one of Le’Boo’s favourites and man, she is still hot as hell at 66 years of age! I’ve seen her live before and her voice is even bigger in person. Every track on this album is unbelievable.
“Take me back to the dance floor so I can dance away my blues.“
“Like a lady,” is about Le’Boo for sure, and what a track it is. Do you want to feel happy? Listen to this album, wiggle your hips, and give yourself to the music.
Dido – Still On My Mind – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽
I’ve loved Dido from the beginning, and this album did not disappoint me. I adore “You don’t need a god,” “Chances,” and “Have to Stay.” The title track “Still on my mind,” is simply mesmerising.
There is some modern dance mixed in with her soulful voice, the lyrics are as blunt as ever, and we get an insight into Dido the mother, not just Dido the lover.
“I found a way to let you go, it’s gonna rip your heart out.”
Although she’s probably been chasing “Life for Rent,” since 2003, you cannot deny her voice and songwriting. I think if people weren’t comparing her to 2003 Dido they would just let themselves enjoy “Still On My Mind.”
Flying Lotus – Flamagra – (4/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽
Just kidding Le’Boo I really love this album.
Flying Lotus creates the kind of music you don’t think too much about. Don’t over-analyse. Put it on when you’re walking/doing yoga/cooking food and watch yourself flow.
Stand out tracks for me are “Burning Down The House,” “All Spies,” (makes me feel like I’m in a 90s video game) and “Yellow Belly.”
“Are you a spy mister?”
“Say Something” is sweetly melancholy leading into “Debbie is Depressed.” “The Climb” featuring Thundercat is an excellent blend of both artists and of course “Land of Honey” featuring Solange Knowles.
Hozier – Wasteland Baby! – (3.5/5) ☽.☽.☽
Not an album I keep coming back to sadly. “Nina Cried Power,” is a banger though.
Madonna – Madam X – (4.5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽
Infused with Portuguese traditional fado music (which coincidently means long ago in Irish) Madonna continues her musical evolution. Tracks which interested me are”God Control,” “Batuka,” “Killers Who Are Paying,” and “Faz Gostoso” where she makes a great effort of speaking Portuguese and Spanish.
She once again hasn’t shied away from her jabs at the Catholic church (and other religions), or even her country of birth. This is a political album and for me, it is long overdue.
She has always been a mixed bag to me with her albums, some are ok, and then some are excellent. I’ve always loved “Ray Of Light,” and “Bedtime Stories,” and I think she’s on form here with this album. My favourite track is “Batuka” which blends traditional with trends, while still holding onto the emotion traditional music provides us.
Another 60-year-old Queen, and I still love her, and so I would say, do people who bought her first album “Madonna” brand new back in 1983. Thanks, Madonna!
Miley Cyrus – She is Coming (EP) (2.5/5) ☽.☽.
She’s been spamming us with “Mother’s Daughter,” and in fairness, itsa bop. I’m a Miley fan, and I feel like she really worked hard to find herself. “Unholy” is also quite a good song.
She’s very white, and I’m not sure she knows it. I know my limits and I think she is cringy when she raps on “Cattitude” but I really enjoyed RuPaul.
So I would give her half. 50%. A failing grade in America, but it depends on the system you’re working in… Not particularly to my taste, and I really liked her album “Younger Now.” Sorry Miley, it’s “The Climb” after all. She has nothing new to say on the other tracks that she hasn’t said before.
Norah Jones – Begin Again (2.5/5) ☽.☽
As with most white females, I have copies of “Come Away With Me,” and “Feels Like Home.” Norah Jones’ voice is consoling.
So to my surprise, she astounded me with the first track which was great, and then it got progressively more boring. Too similar to her early work without the beauty. I’m not saying this because she’s older, I just feel her heart isn’t in it anymore.
The only tracks I really liked where “My Heart Is Full,” and “Uh Oh.”
P!nk – Hurts to be Human – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽.☽
I adore P!nk and all she does. I would give her 5 outta five on all her albums, hairstyles, the babies she makes with Cary Hart and her gymnastic skills.
Santana – Africa Speaks – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽.☽
I’m actually blown away by this one. I had never heard of Buika before Santana collaborated with her, but man. This is absolutely everything I love. Jazz, African soul, guitars, fabulous vocals and just in time for the summer.
“Yo me lo merezco” (I deserve it) I’m sending all my love to the “Blue Skies,” and “Luna Hechicera” (in Spanish this is Sorceress moon), and the beautiful “Bembele” (in Swahili it means hide?).
Classically excellent music isn’t dead. It’s in the fingers of Carlos Santana and the vocals of Buika.
Solange – When I get home – (3/5) ☽.☽.☽
“A Seat At The Table,” was an absolute tour de force (yes I did just use that phrase), how disappointed was I when Solange released “When I Get Home,” and I just couldn’t get myself to fall in love with it.
The Chemical Brothers – No Geography – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽
Just seen The Chemical Brothers for the first time this year and they were excellent. This album is more of the same excellent, with their modern twist. I give it 5/5 because I love The Chemical Brothers, but I stand by it.
Zaska – It Takes A Village – (4/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽
Aptly named, “It Takes A Village,” was Crowdfunded, locally produced, and packed full of Irish names. Maybe it’s my bias but I really do love this album, because of the local Irish stars and accents.
Treat yourself to “My Body,” Featuring Barq, “It’s Ridiculous,” Featuring Louise Gaffney, and “Wear,” featuring Wyvern Lingo. There are Irish themes and issues throughout, but this is genuinely just a good album.
Hello Moonlings, look at me. Posting of a Monday. Never thought that might happen again. Don’t have much to say just wanted to remind you that I have not one, but two YouTube channels!
I have my main channel which is called, you guessed it, Thinking Moon. I’ve 96 wonderful subscribers over there. If you are a regular user of YouTube may I as that you subscribed to me? It won’t take long. The simple click of a button, and I will gladly repay the kindness with a return subscription. I make all kinds of things, such as look books, adventure videos, storytelling and much more.
In addition to Thinking Moon, I also have a channel for the green baby squish. I’ve told you about him before, haven’t I? If you don’t remember you can read about it here. His channel is called Chookity Pah, and I created it because I make so many videos with him in it, I figured they deserved their own channel. Plus he’s a star in his own right look at that face!
I’ve been such a big fan of YouTube for so long now, and I finally started uploading back in November 2018. The response has been slow but sure. Below are a sample of both channels. Give them a chance, you never know you might enjoy them!