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Lucid Dreaming, possibly?

I’m quite proud of my dreaming memory sometimes. I’ve always been interested in dreams, nightmares and sleeping. (Especially sleeping – I’ll happily take a nap for research!) I love hearing people tell me about weird dreams they’ve had, I feel like it gives you a little peak deep in their mind. However a lot of my friends sometimes have a bit of a weak memory and tend to not remember their dreams.

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Lucid dreaming has always been intriguing to me too, I remember back in high school on social media people used to share this in particular photo describing how to ‘lucid-dream’, however I’m pretty sure I recall this photo be debunked and warned that it can cause sleep paralysis which is quite scary! Lucid dreaming can basically be the state of being aware of being in a dream state, being aware of the dream environment, being aware of your self inside the dream and awareness of your control and actions inside the dream. Sometimes I’ve dreamt and it’s been like watching a movie where I just watch what happens, I don’t choose or control what happens in this dream however lately I have definitely noticed patterns of being able to direct what ‘dream me’ does, almost.

I’m not sure if maybe I am wrong about my definition of lucid dreaming, maybe I believe I have more control over my dreams than I do and my memory is fuzzy, however last night I did have a series of spontaneous dreams that I found I had a lot more control over than usual and I thought I’d share them cause they were so bizarre to me.

Now I learnt this strange sleep checking technique off Teen Wolf admittedly. The great season of 3B where Stiles Stilinski has trouble figuring out the difference between sleeping and reality. You basically count your fingers and if they don’t add up/look normal, you are dreaming. I did this quite a lot during these spontaneous dreams.

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So first of all for some reason I was on my bed, texting a girl I used to be friends with in high school and we were talking about university and such however I was on a very old phone and my phone was starting to not let me text and it was frustrating to me. Suddenly I gave up and put my phone down and ‘went to sleep’. Then I was suddenly in my mum’s car and I got out to go get something and I was walking down this road, however I suddenly was confused as to why I was on this street, this late at night. I looked down at my hands and saw that one of my fingers was kind of halved almost, like it was a small nub and on the other hand, I’m pretty sure I was missing a finger. It hit me that I was dreaming and suddenly ran back to my mums car and jumped for it. God knows why, but as I fell very slowly the scene kind of disappeared.

Next thing I knew was being in my bedroom however it was daytime and I was in my bed. I decided to check my hands again to see I only had 9 fingers and thought this would be a hilarious time to tweet (not much difference between real me and dream me). I tweeted something like ‘guys I’m in some weird lucid dream lmao’ or something along those lines. Then a certain person from my past entered my room as if it was normal for them to be here, even though considering in reality I no longer speak to them or want to. They asked me to ‘hurry up getting ready’ and I suddenly couldn’t move. They spoke closely to my face and tried to ‘snap me out of it’ however I felt like I was asleep but with my eyes open. To try and wake me up this person, abruptly hit my cheek and it snapped me out of it. In a panic I ran to my bathroom and locked the door. The person shouted for me behind the door, apologizing and asking for me to come out however I refused. I sat on the bathroom floor which felt extremely warm and almost real like my actual bathroom. Suddenly the noise stopped and I walked out into my room, this part felt extremely real and I almost considered that I had slept walk until morning time and was now waking up. But then I looked down at my hands and I was missing a few and then BAM. I actually physically woke up. Yes I did check my hands again. (And my twitter, I almost kind of wanted to see if my tweet had made it from the dream world to real world.)

Now I’m no expert with dream analysis and not extremely interested in some of the meanings behind these dreams but I thought my awareness of these dreams was extremely cool and freaky!

 

Has anybody else had a dream like this before?

Helena x

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Dear 2015..

Dear 2015,

You’ve been a roller-coaster of a year. It’s like you weren’t exactly certain where you wanted your head to be at and kept changing your mind every month. I understand cause I am like that too. January and me had a bit of an argument this year, do you remember? I was finally coming to terms with how and how I shouldn’t be treated – I was questioning a lot of what was going on and at one point January didn’t seem to like it. In fact January seemed to want to see me crying on the bathroom floor with left-over tacky Christmas drinks at one point – which I still don’t appreciate January, but I am eternally thankful for when you turned around and pushed me in the right direction near the end. The year was extremely different to others since then and I know it was for the best.

February dived in with a lot of adventures up it’s sleeve. I got to explore the beautiful city of Edinburgh and see my lovely sister and brother-in-law. I got to visit the small, hidden village of Todmorden and meet some funny people and my confidence was slowly growing. Like a small seedling. Admittedly some days it’d have troubles uncurling it’s leaves – scared it was showing off too much growth when other people were not ready for it. But small progress is better than nothing. March was fizzy and sweet like pink lemonade and the spring definitely blossomed some optimism inside me. I began a second game project at my old job and saw a great band live. March was the bittersweet month of this year and I was comforted by her visit.

April showers mostly reflected my stress levels. Some days everything would be clear and other days you’d be stuck trying to fix a broken umbrella torn apart from the wind and reckless rain. Luckily April lectured me in the importance of people’s intentions. Some people will not need or want you when you can’t give them anything and other people will expect things from you that you never promised them. April’s tough love at the time felt cruel and hurt my head, but now I look back and see how much progress I made and I wonder if April knew how her tough attitude made me stronger. May was like a softer twin of April – still wanted to push me to extreme lengths but was full of understanding when it became too much.

June and July were blurs of sweat and motivation. Admittedly in July, I had a lot of hope for my career – then it was unknown to me what turns the Winter would give me. But I am nostalgic for that relaxed feeling I would have surrounded by friends I had made for the past year. I wish July would tell me if I had done the right things or if there was anything I could of done to ensure I would have more times like I did the past year, with those same people. But July was quite secretive and would only tell me so much. In future, I must learn to be patient but plan ahead.

August put me on a plane and taught me to conquer my fears. “You need to do these things once”, August pleaded with me. I guess August was right. There’s something about going through an airport and to a new country alone that strengthens your bones. There’s also something about standing in a hot, stuffy crowd at your first ever festival that makes you fall temporarily in love with the world. Hearing a massive amount of people sing their hearts out to one of your favourite songs along with you is almost overwhelming and I think even next August won’t let me forget the thumps in my chest as the blurs and bright lights of festivals span around me like neon ribbons.

September, October and November all hid under a blanket together and invited me to come and sit with them. I wonder if it was fun for them to watch how patient I could be over three months. The months all merged together with their mild, crisp airs and constant flickering of my phone on and off as I waited for emails. I hope they wanted to punch and kick as much as I wanted to when the long wait came to an end. I wonder how they felt when they saw me in tears questioning why I wasn’t good enough to continue my career. They had no answers. Quiet pats on the back followed and the small, tender push to go and find something else. I remember it was November’s pale, cold hands that were the hands that pushed me forward to my current career. Although I think November didn’t know me well enough to make that choice, I still thank her for getting me out of my self-pity.

December’s eyes glowed amber colours symmetrical to the street lights on a Winter evening. She was perfectly still and reserved like a magical fountain of some sort, but every so often she’d open her eyes wide and they’d shine like tinsel and glitter and hypnotise me. My heart and head would become jumpy and excited and convince me I could do anything. But then December’s eyelashes would crinkle with frost and everything came to a halt again. I think December knows how much I rely on other people and that when it comes to looking after myself I can instantly stop dead in my tracks and crumble. Instead of waiting on the year to validate me with gold, shining eyes, I must understand that I can do great things without the nod of approval.

So thank you 2015, for teaching me confidence. Thank you for giving me the strength to come away from relationships that were hurting me. Thank you for giving me the hope of new friendships and relationships that make me more happy and push me in the right direction. Thank you for keeping me humble and making me tread through storms to realise what I have the strength to do.

I am excited to see what 2016 brings. I know I am going to do great things.

Have a good one everybody,

Helena x x

 

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Train Rides

This year I think I’ve been on train journeys more than I have done in my entire life. Growing up I always imagined trains as a transportation you get when you’re going on a big journey, much like a plane or even a boat. However now I probably use trains more than I use buses.

Not that it makes train rides feel less adventurous. In fact, as silly as it may sound, train journeys feel different every time I get them. Even if I’m going to the same place.

You have the morning train. It’s crowded and weirdly warm. The only sounds are the buzzes of people’s music in their headphones or the sharp flick of newspaper pages turning.¬†The grey, fuzzy sky gives the train a weird sense of comfort, the lights in the train are on and it emits a fluorescent glow and people are slowly waking up to the day.

The afternoon train can be different. This is the train where you’re already awake. Your eyes don’t strain when you look out to the countryside view shoot past and the train is mostly empty so you can indulge in the fervour of your own headphones and the radiance outside. It’s the kind of train you get when you have a day off work. When you feel free and laid back because you have no worries about being too late or too early. You can just be in complete relaxation as the train glides along the tracks.

The evening train has a lingering stench of beer and handsome perfume, but it gets your blood pumping and your curiosity heightened. Different conversations and stories flit across the air of the train from different groups and the contrast between matte black trousers and shiny, new nightclub dresses let the world know that tonight is going to be different for everyone. Some people might fall in love tonight, some people might get in a fight. But at the end of night everyone will wake up with the same bittersweet hangover.

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In 2016 I hope that I’ll explore more places in the UK and it’ll be very exciting if I get to visit Huddersfield and Leeds for University interviews. Is there any places you hope to visit in 2016? Share!

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

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Favourite places to visit in Manchester City Centre

I’d say I’m at that age where I’m quite adventurous. Much like an angsty pop punk song I sometimes feel sick and bored of my ‘hometown’, I feel like going somewhere new and travelling and just getting out of the same old that I see everyday. The adolescent angst is more persistent when you’re in a bad mood – you just want to get up and disappear, make new friends, meet new people, go to a town where nobody knows your name.

But obviously it’s never that easy and it’s never the medicine you need when you’re fed up and melancholic. If you’re like me and live in a city like Manchester, chances are you’ve probably not explored everywhere. The daydream of travelling to another little city and sitting in a dainty little cafe is lovely but what about all the little cafes and stores you haven’t already found in your hometown? Maybe you should make your new goal to explore your hometown a bit more. Recently that’s what I’ve been trying to do and I get very restless when I haven’t got money because there are so many places I want to visit in Manchester but I can’t yet! I decided on this post I’d share some of the nice places I have visited in Manchester because I think you should visit them too!

  • V Revolution

    This is definitely one of the nicest places I’ve started visiting this year. Maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe I’m a little bit obsessed with their food. But the place is so nice! Located on Oldham Street in Northern Quarter, V Revolution is a little diner that specializes in vegan Junk food. Most non-vegan people do have the expectations of vegan food being maybe bland or mainly veggies but no way is that what V Revolution is like. They do hot dogs, milkshakes, burgers, nachos and all of them are vegan! But do not taste much different from normal, in fact I’ve never been a massive fan of hot dogs – but V Revolution’s regular hot dog is mind blowingly delicious. Whenever I’m in Manchester I’m always tempted to run down and get one. The staff in V Revolution are also very lovely and friendly! The whole cafe/diner is clean and comfortable and definitely my favourite place to go for a bite to eat and a drink. You can check them out on Instagram or Facebook!
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  • Nexus Art Cafe

    This adorable cafe is also hidden in Northern Quarter, not far of from Afflecks Palace and situated literally next door to Travelling Man(if you’re a Mancunian comic fan you’ll know where this is!) the Nexus Art Cafe is a little creative community venue for art displays/exhibitions, group meetings, events and obviously it’s lovely little cafe! I’ve only been here a couple of times for coffee chats with my best friends and significant others but the whole cafe is just so snug and relaxing to be in – with a lot of places to sit including tables, sofas etc., even visiting here by yourself would be a lovely thing to do. They also have free wifi if you want to pop in and bring your laptop whilst getting a cup of tea and some lunch! The menu is located on their website! They do a lot of yummy sounding sandwiches. Their twitter is also here!

  • Night & Day Cafe

    My sister took me here once and I really need to go back at one point when I have money, but I absolutely fell in love with Night & Day Cafe when I walked in. Also near Northern Quarter(I’m sensing a pattern here), this gem is a cafe in the daytime and an atmospheric bar with live music at night! You can get tickets for upcoming shows on their website as well as view their menu. When I went in I had some of their cinnamon french toast and it was so delicious and tasty. The atmosphere in general in Night & Day cafe is pretty funky, with lots of arts and neon signs on the walls. You can find information about them on their website, facebook or twitter!
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  • COW

    If you’ve read one of my previous blog posts, you’ll know how much I rave about COW. It’s definitely a great place for anybody that is a fan of vintage clothing. You can sometimes find some really awesome, unique finds in COW and the staff there are really sweet too. I’ve gotten some clothes from here and they’ve become very beloved clothes to me so in return for their awesome vintage clothes I must spread the love! Visit Manchester COW’s Instagram or Twitter!
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  • Afflecks Palace

    Afflecks palace is a unique, store-filled building in Manchester.¬†Growing up Afflecks would always be joked as the ’emo’ place to shop, but there is definitely something for everyone in Afflecks. There’s three stories of different shops and cafes. On the second floor you can find Black Milk Cereal cafe which is known for its amazing cereal concoctions. On the third floor there is also another cafe but without a sole focus on cereal! You can also find retro game stores, crystal stores, bead stores, poster stores, vintage clothes and cool jewellery in Afflecks! I’d definitely visit it if you were having a day trip to Manchester as there is so much in Afflecks! They have a website with directions to it, and individual descriptions of all of their shops.

  • MOSI

    The Museum of Science and Industry is a great museum that tends to almost all the senses. I haven’t been in years but it holds such good memories, there’s so many interactive displays that people of all ages can get involved with and learn from. They have the air and space hall which is filled with massive aircrafts that are amazing to look at, they also have the science experiment hall, which is my personal favourite because of all the interactive stuff in it, as well as the Manchester mills exhibitions and power halls! Entry to the museum is free, and a lot of the events they have going on tend to be free too! So feel free to visit their website and find out about it!

So yeah that’s some nice places to visit in Manchester, obviously there’s so many other places unique to Manchester that I want to visit like North Tea Power, Sugar Junction, Home Sweet Home and even Hula Bar! And when I do I will keep you all updated on where I recommend!

Thanks for reading,

Lenah x x