Moody Music

I have written and re-written this blog post multiple times these last 7 days. Don’t even get me started about the frustration and procrastination that has come with it. I have had a very eventful week, but even my time dedicated to writing has seemed to get me nowhere. So, seeming I still require a thought-provoking topic, I am going to endeavour to write about something which I am passionate about.

Music.

Music is something I have always been consistently obsessive about. I was brought up in a family where it was a common event to listen to music on road trips or to jam out to classic rock around the house. Even right up until the day I left home, music was such a common thing I would often be woken up the sounds of my Dad playing Santana at max volume at the other end of the house – yes, quite often it annoyed me and he knew it, but it was something I quickly got over because it’s moments like that, that I love my smart-ass of a Dad for. Being brought up with the music my parents listened to, when they were younger, surely helped widen my music taste; I have immense appreciation for true talent, and a good record.

There’s something overly powerful about music and how it changes my mood. For example, Punching in a Dream – The Naked and the Famous is playing right now, and just from the first few seconds of the intro, it has taken me back to the days of when it first came out – me dancing around my room absolutely loving every melody and beat that the song produced. Thus, right now it’s causing my brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical which is currently dancingly frolicking around my brain; a happy Paige.

Music can affect me in two ways, through its hypnotic beat like The Naked and Famous, or it can be through the haunting lyrics. Even though I’m struggling without having my stereo (my brother better be treating him nicely) to listen to loud music and dance to, I still spend a majority of my days enjoying my somewhat forgotten favourites lingering on my iPod Classic through my well-loved earphones, or my almost decent laptop speakers.

Within my beautiful iPod library, I have a carefully chosen playlist labelled, unoriginally, ‘favourites’ – every time I “fall in love” with a song, it will find itself selected and nicely placed with the rest of my lovers. I know I’m not the only one, but I love how music can perfectly describe your thoughts and feelings with words you didn’t even know could be ordered so perfectly. Or if the songs aren’t enhancing you’re mood, they remind you of a situation. Confused? Allow me to explain myself.  Just like almost every band in my collection, I am a fairly big Paramore supporter. They released a song called Ain’t It Fun on their latest album, which got dumped into my favourite’s folder almost instantaneously (now is your chance, if you haven’t heard it, to pause your reading and click the link here to know what I’m talking about à https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFEmTsfFL5A). Straight away this song makes me beyond happy, I don’t know whether it reminds me of freedom, or my solo move to England, but it really sparks a smile inside and out. For anyone who has recently graduated high school, moved out of home or has begun an adventure somewhere unknown, this is perchance the song you can relate to the most. Yes, life is scary, especially when “you’re not the big fish in the pond no more, you are what they’re feeding on”. Being suddenly alone in this world without the homely comforts can make you want to give up, but you have to remember that life is so unbelievably exciting. You just have to make the most of every second; so when you’re feeling lost or confused, remember the words of the wise, and know that it’s “fun living in the real world”.

It’s amazing how music can bring you back to a place or a memory. I love how I can listen to a song and immediately remember the road trip I took with my best friend, my high school graduation, even a family holiday from my pre-teens. I feel like Ain’t It Fun will be my trigger for the memories I am making right now, here in London. There’s something empowering about being so alone. I’m not even sure alone is the right word, I think the word is more independent. Whatever it is, it’s the most amazing feeling, and I now know that it is “easy to ignore a trouble when you’re living in a bubble”. So maybe we should all try pop that comfort zone bubble and try live out the true definition of adventure, remembering that it will have its troubles and issues, but remember in more detail that it’s mostly beauty.

I don’t think I could ever explain what music truly means to me, nor how much I love the way my iPod is basically a memory bank. Every time I listen to my iPod, I end up taking a nostalgic journey, shuffling back through the last 19 years of my wonderful, crazy, beautiful life. And you know what?

I wouldn’t change a second of it.

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Travel V.S. Money

You never realize how isolated New Zealand is until you find yourself in the midst of London.

Being in London, for almost 3 weeks now, I have soon come to realize that London is one multi-cultural location. I moved to England expecting to be the foreigner in my work, in my new home, in general — however that is not the case, I move to the busiest city I have ever encountered, and I work in a store with zero British people. I move to the furthest point from home, and I live with New Zealanders and Australians; it’s funny how the world works isn’t it.

However, what makes me really excited about being in London, is not the beautiful sights – you soon cover the tourist attractions within the first few days – but it’s the travel opportunities. From New Zealand you would have to save a good few months to go anywhere decent, however for under £80 I am off to Prague, Czech Republic, for two days in March [flights + hotel included]. This may seem insignificant to some, but if you were to ask any of my Kiwi family and friends to travel to such an exotic location for that price, they would take that opportunity within a heartbeat.

Before I pressed the ‘BOOK NOW’ button, the only thing holding me back was the money. Even though it’s only £80, all I could think was that those coins could come in useful within the next months… then I remembered that I strongly attempt to live my life by “Just say yes” – which you should have got a grasp on if you’ve followed my blog from the beginning.

What really reinforced this decision to just do it was a prior and interesting conversation with someone the other day. Talking to someone with a fair few years of experience on me, I listened to them.

The basic topic of our conversation was money.

I don’t know how we got onto the subject matter, but it had something to do with my current ventures to find a second job so I can afford my new, independent life whilst still saving money. Since I left high school and from the point where I decided to move here to London, saving was an important thing to me; I had three jobs at one point. We were discussing this, and this said wise owl said they would rather have less money and participate more in life. This (like pretty much everything I hear/see/do in life) got me thinking about the bigger picture – they are so completely and utterly correct. I have never been one to save all my pennies, ask my parents, but being in a new country standing on my own two feet, I have the same feeling of motivation as I did to get here, but now it is the incentive to be able to stay here in a healthy financial state. However he tinged my views on saving ever so slightly; I realized that you have to have balance and sometimes seeing a concert, or going out with friends, is more important than having a few extra quid in the bank account. Now obviously there is a point where saying yes becomes too often. As someone who is self-reliant I know that you do need to be smart with your money, but in my opinion you shouldn’t live out your life and only have white picket fences to show for it. So needless to say, no wonder I said yes to this trip to Prague.

“If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

So try live, and remember that the experience will be worth more than the pounds in your pocket.

Location

“The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: because we see things so often, we see them less and less.” – 

I find it intriguing how a different location can change your perspective in a situation.

If I were walking somewhere in my hometown of New Zealand, I would typically be staring at the ground, marching along, only hoping to get to my destination sooner than physically possible. However, being in this new country constantly surrounded by new things, I find myself in tourist mode taking mental photographs of everything; from fence detailing to sky-high buildings.

Today I had a complete day to myself so I decided to venture to see the much anticipated Tower Bridge. However, firstly I wanted to see the Tower bridge from the London Bridge parallel, then head along the Thames Walkway to extend the sightseeing. Along this length of riverside path every person I passed (whom obviously was not a tourist) looked bored. It bewildered me how someone who lives in such a beautiful and iconic place could just look at their phone screens or the ground.

That’s when I remembered Joseph B. Wirthlin’s fantastically accurate quote.

Do we really see so much beauty that we become blind to it?I think as time goes on, especially when you are settled within the same scenery for a length of time, you don’t exactly become blind to it, it just becomes monotonous. There are two ways of looking at this fact, this could be a negative thing; that we become ignorant and ungrateful to this beauty, or perhaps this is a thing to applaud about human psychology.

What would we do if boredom never existed? We would be happy without weariness for sure, but we would never have the motivation to go venture outside of our borders. The world is a beautiful place: full of 196 contrasting countries that are there to be explored. We need boredom to set our ambition dial on full.

With every year from about the age of 15, I became more and more uninterested in my surroundings. Leading into my gap year I found myself getting to the point of just wanting to drive somewhere out of town; for the sake of how bored I was with the same routine of seeing the same things every day. This lack of enthusiasm towards New Zealand was what got me to where I am now. And don’t get me wrong, I will forever appreciate what my parents have given me and my brothers — our home is a beautiful place, possibly the best home I could ever imagine growing up in — but we all eventually become blind to continuous beauty and it is human psychology to always want what we don’t have.

In the weeks leading up to my departure I did become more aware of the beauty in my neighbourhood. When I truly realized and accepted that I was to be leaving everything I had ever known, my love for the views escalated and I saw in more detail how beautiful the Kapiti Coast is; I was and still am so lucky to have been given a home there.

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Blogging

Blogging has never seemed like something I would do out of freewill.

The commitment, the typing, the endless mind-blanks of what to write about… but being someone who loves to write, and has decided to venture out into the world alone, it seems like a good idea. This blog will be a decent and easy way to connect with people I meet, and a way for my faraway family and friends to follow my journey in a literary sense rather than photography (Instagram – @paigebolland).

When I was younger, in fact from an age I cannot pinpoint, I was fascinated and intrigued by novels about diary keeping. Mia in The Princess Diaries was a favourite; her interesting adventures in day to day life, and in particular her quirky ways of safe keeping a memory, sparked an interest. At a young age I became a dedicated bookworm and in turn I used my book affairs to inspire my own creative stories. I remember taking so much pride in my page-long workings — prancing around the school begging my teachers to read the story, hoping to receive a shiny new sticker at the top of the page. Throughout high school, I found this creativeness and pride disappear. Creativity became something that no longer could be out of the box, it had to fit between the lines. This was something I extremely hated about school, and what saddens me the most, it made me lose my love for being clever with words and writing for pure joy.

After a year of being finished with school, and having the choice of what to do with my life, I found small things I’d lost from being in a classroom come back. For example, motivation. Motivation was lost for me, yes small hints were there, but my true motivation to live for myself came back after graduating. 2014 welcomed the dream of moving to England. This motivated me to work hard and save my money even harder; it got me to where I am now – London. From a small New Zealand town, it is more than an adventure to be almost 100% settled in such a beautifully busy city that is so new and out of my comfort zone. Today is day 5 in the UK, and out of those days I have had 1 day of being a tourist. What a day that was. With an early start, and I mean early I was able to make the most of the limited hours of daylight and go see a few, of the million and one, things I have always daydreamed about being on my back doorstep. To see the things I saw, you will have to see my Instagram, but things that I couldn’t capture within those photos was my constant smiling, my opinions and my being in awe. Being alone can seem like a sad situation to an outsider, but to me it is perfection. Thinking about yesterday, I got lost more than I could count on my fingers, but I enjoyed being a small dot within the map. In such a well organised and busy city you are never lost for long, you soon find your way back to the trail you were planning to follow. Soon enough I was listening to Big Ben ring on the hour – this really brought me into the moment, there is nothing like a sudden realization that you’re standing on the footpath looking up and listening to something you have dreamed about seeing for years. The realization that I did it. I got myself there. And to realize this, made me appreciate the moment more than I ever thought I could. I then continued, with a beaming grin across my face, along my spiral path through Westminster. I saw more breeds of swan than I thought possible in St James’ Park, I grinned like a cheese in front of Buckingham Palace to pose for a photo, I cycled through Hyde Park on a Barclay’s, and I went shopping on Oxford Street. Even sitting here now, I still can’t believe that these globally known places, are within a 10 minute tube ride from my new home! I don’t know if I will ever not appreciate this city as much as I do right now.

I guess now, after my endless worded rant, and now that I am in a point in my life where I have my own exciting stories, I want to be like Mia. I want to inspire someone. Not necessarily spark an interest in writing, but inspire someone to say yes to more things in life; to do things that make them happy, but more importantly to venture out into the world. This world is amazing, and if you don’t travel, it’s like reading only the cover of a book and missing all the gloriously written pages in between. Whether you write about your own experiences, take photos of things you see, or whether you prefer to just soak it all in as you live in the moment – just do what makes you happy. Just say yes.

The day you start living for yourself, the more you end up living for.