All posts by Llamasymphony

I like to write, read, take photos, draw, watch TV, go on adventures, travel, lie in bed all day, eat new things, laugh with my friends, love my boyfriend, visit my family, play on my PS4, drive, make cocktails, buy things, get excited over little things and get tattoos.

Friends… if you can call them that

It’s weird… I used to think I was the problem, and let me tell you this now, that’s not a good feeling, no matter the situation no matter who you are, no one likes to feel like they’re the problem.

I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say that in the past I’ve not always been the best friend, but I’ve always tried to keep the connections alive. I get that sometimes it’s hard to do so when people have their own lives and their own jobs to focus on. But it makes it even more difficult when the talking and the effort is one sided. It gets to a point where it’s not even worth it any more, and that’s just sad.

I used to feel bad about myself, because I always thought it was my fault, that they just didn’t want to talk to me. But I learned through mutual friends that that wasn’t always the case, because they to had been shown the cold shoulder, and it’s hard not to get angry about it. Especially when you see them posting on social media day in and day out, and it’s because of that that I’m writing this today.

I’m writing this for all those other people who always feel isolated amongst a group, or those who just feel like they’re not enough.

People always talk about the traits of toxic relationships, what to look out for and how to tell if you’re in one… but what about toxic friendships, why are they always overlooked?

Here are a few things to look out for that I’ve picked up on a long the way:
– Accepting invites but never showing
– Leaving messages unread
– Being left on read
– Always making excuses as to why they’ve been “out of touch”
– Saying let’s meet up and never following through
– Acting like none of that happened the next time you see each other in public.

If you recognise these traits in others my advice is to let them go.
If you recognise these traits in yourself then congratulations, you’ve realised you’re the problem… now what are you going to do about that?

Christmas Time…

Mistletoe and wine… and gin and chocolate and tinsel.

Ever since I can remember Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. I’ve always associated with happy memories, with magic and with family.

Every family has Christmas traditions and mine was no different. We would wake early after a restless nights sleep waiting to here the jingle bells and the footsteps on the roof, but we didn’t care if we were tired. My brothers and I would rush downstairs and gather in the living room – fire on, and mum waiting with a smile on her face. We’d settle down and start opening the presents piling the wrapping paper into the middle of the room for a quick clean up later.

As the morning went on we’d binge on Quality Streets or Celebrations – knowing the exact limits so that we wouldn’t spoiling our dinner appetite. While we were opening boxes and watching Christmas Movies on TV there’d be the smell of Turkey filling the house, the steam of the kitchen forcing condensation over the windows trapping us in our own magical day.

After a Christmas dinner that I swear got better every year, we’d all get dressed in clothes that were wrapped up only hours later. We’d then all wrap up warm and start the 5 minute walk to my Nanna’s house where all of our extended family would be waiting.

There we’d exchange cards and hugs, and enjoy each others company in to the night.

It might sound romanticised, and in part it might just be, but it’s how I remember it, it’s how I choose to remember it, and I’ll remember it as some of the happiest years of my life. Forever.

These days, some 15-20 years later it’s still the time I look forward to, seeing the Coca-cola Christmas advert on TV for the first time signals to me that it’s time to start getting festive. I chose to put my decorations up at the earliest opportunity – my record is November 22nd. There’s something about the colourful lights, the tinsel and the atmosphere that brings me joy and happiness.

With so many things different now, my traditions have changed, they’ve evolved. Now, a week or so before Christmas my partner and I have a Christmas jumper party with our friends, then the next day we have our own Christmas Day complete with presents, Buck’s Fizz and Christmas dinner. Its something I look forward to all year, it’s a time we can lock ourselves and in our house and just be with each other and that’s one of my favourite places to be.

When it comes down to Christmas week, now that I’ve moved away from home I try my very best to get home to my mums a few days before, so we can have our annual shopping trip, and an adventure to see Fenwick’s Window. From there the traditions revert back to those of childhood, even as an adult I still find the magic in waking up early and spending that quality time with my family. Although, now I’m not waiting for Santa Clause, I’m waiting for the turkey.

To round off what is usually a day to remember we gather around the TV together, with leftover sandwiches and we watch Mrs Browns Boys in the living room, drawing comfort from the glow of the Christmas Tree lights.

Goodbye 2019

We’re fast approaching the end of another year, another one that’s gone by faster than time should, another one that’s escaped through the fingertips of the universe. This time, it’s not just the year that’s over, it’s the decade.

I always try to be an optimist, I try to believe that everything happens for a reason and that every decision I make is the right one, and whether it’s now or further down the line the result of those decisions will be made clear to me.

At the start of every year, I try to give myself a list of things I want to do or accomplish and this year was no different. While I completed a few, the big ones aren’t quite there yet and I’m not about to lie and say that I’ve achieved everything I set out to do. Year after year I tell myself that by this time the year after I’ll be in a better place mentally and physically… don’t get me wrong my year was far from tragic and I’ve had a load of new experiences and I have accomplished some personal victories. But there is still a list as long as my arm of things I haven’t checked off my list, things that I mark down as personal failures.

I always find time around this time of year to reflect, and this time it’s more of a public reflection.

So my question for anyone reading this, is have you accomplished everything you set out to do?

Take a moment and reflect.

Beat Saber – VR

“It’s right up there with the best of the best.”

★★★★★

I hope that if you have a Playstation VR that you’ve already played Beat Saber at least once, if not then we need to have a serious conversation.

Even if you haven’t, no doubt over the years you’ve dabbled in things like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, even Fruit Ninja. This my friends is next level! Of course, if you like Star Wars there’s the added advantage of sabers.

I didn’t discover Beat Saber on my own, leading up to Christmas 2018 I’d seen a few advertisements for it on the Playstation Facebook page, but I never clicked on it. Then when I went to visit my family for the holidays my brother enlightened me… and the rest as they say is history.

Now, I’m not nearly as good on it as he is, but I do alright… I’ve progressed from easy to medium to hard mode – and I will conquer expert one of these days, and then the dreaded new ‘expert +’, but that’s a problem for another day.

Seeing him play it even without being inside of the VR at the time made me want more. Then when I first went into the game I was ready, motion controllers in hand, headphones in (I’d strongly recommend using headphones for the full immersive experience) I picked a song at the recommendation of my brother and off I went, cutting blocks left and right, moving from side to side, ducking and flailing around.

It is amazing, the interaction and impressiveness is incredible it’s right up there with the best of the best, it’s one of the best PSVR games out there at the moment.

Also, I’ll tell you this now, the game is a workout, as I’m writing this my arm muscles are feeling the 2 hours I’ve just spent playing on it and I’ve almost tripled my workout goal on my Apple Watch. It was all worth it, because I achieved something that I set out to do today, finish Angel Voices on 100% on hard mode.

Check that out on my YouTube channel or watch it below

Online Branding

When I started this website, I wanted to share my experiences and I wanted to start to build myself up as an online brand, and while my posts don’t currently reach a lot of people I’m happy with the way it’s going so far, these things take time.

Along with this website I have my photography Instagram called Reedtography, which is an extension of my main brand, Llama Symphony. Then I have a Facebook and YouTube, neither currently has any content (my YouTube is my old page, and I’m unable to change the URL at the moment), any likes and subscribers are highly appreciated.

I am slowly moving forward with ideas for the content, and in the meantime I’m going to continue posting here and on my Instagram.

For now, we’ll see how it goes!

Pushing Them Away

It occurred to me a few days ago that I’ve driven away most of my friends and I can tell you now, that’s not a good feeling.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of friends, from school to high school, from college and university to different jobs. I can tell you now that I am only friends with one of the people I knew in primary/junior school. From high school, I’m friends with about 3 people still and even then we don’t talk as much as we used to.

When I went to college I met a whole loaf of new people and while I’m friends with some of them still we don’t talk or see each other as much as we used to. Then when I moved away to university I met so many amazing people, the kind of people that you just know you’ll know for the rest of your lives… and I messed up.

I entered what would be the darkest time of my life, I took so much for granted and took a lot of wrong turns, a lot of which I regret now. I pushed everyone away, I entered my own bubble and now there’s only me.

The people I thought would be my friends through life now do everything without me. They all stayed connected from different parts of the country, they all enjoy things together. I know it’s not their fault and I’m trying to reconnect, I’m trying to improve my friendships and I’m trying to fix it.

I’m trying to better myself.

My Experience With Time

Time heals all wounds

It’ll get better

All you need is time.

Those are phrases I’ve used in conversations to friends that have been hurting. Those are phrases I’ve said out loud to people, but what if I don’t believe them. What does that make me?

I’ve always tried to be a person of comfort, I’ve always prided myself in being a good friend, maybe I’ll go a while without talking but nevertheless my friends know I’m there for them, through it all.

Yet, when I tell people it’s all going to be okay, I’m a liar. I’m a liar because I don’t think time does heal all wounds. I think that those wounds will always be vulnerable and fragile, and that they’ll open at a moments notice.

One thought, one song or a phone call and everything I know could come crumbling down. There’s absolutely nothing I can do to control it, it’s all part of human nature and coupling those realities with severe anxiety results in my constant stream of depression and panic attacks.

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a little while, but I could never find the right way to phrase it, and today after a brief cry I finally figured it out. I had to just do it.

When I was fourteen I lost someone, I lost my best friend, I lost a part of me, I lost all hope when my Nanna died. Still to this very day, 11 years on, I cry, I cry like it happened yesterday, I cry like I was at her funeral only this morning. Every single time, and I mean every single time I hear the song that was played at her funeral I break, something inside of me snaps and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Every version of the song, no matter who sings it, those lyrics will be burned into my memories forever. I remember the exact lyric the exact moment in the song that they closed that curtain and she was gone forever. I remember everything I felt that day, I remember waking up with such fear and such dread that I couldn’t move. I remember sitting in the crematorium with my dad to my left and my cousin to the right. I remember seeing the look on my mums face, I remember the atmosphere and I remember feeling empty. It hurts me so much and to this very day I can not forget it… and I don’t ever expect to, it’s something I have to live with.

When I was sixteen I got my first boyfriend, and I’d like to say he was sweet and thoughtful but he wasn’t, I just didn’t know any better. He was my worst enemy. My life for those 11 months was a constant stream of endless nightmares. It was because of him that I drove away all of my friends, it was because of him that I almost lost my family. It’s because of him I have nightmares still, almost 10 years later. He threatened me, he hurt me and left me with emotional scars. I remember the feeling of his hand around my throat, I remember the panic of the moment I grabbed my shoes and ran for my life out of the fear that he was following me. My feet pounding on the ground in the rain trying to get away. I remember exactly where I was and what day it was when I told him it was over and he told me he was going to come to my place of work, jump over the counter and slit my throat. That night I had to call my mum to pick me up from work, because I couldn’t leave there alone. Even now, I’m scared, I’m scared that he’ll find me, that one day it won’t just be a nightmare anymore.

Life is full of hard times, and I’m by no means saying that my experiences are worse than someone else’s. Everyone copes differently, everyone deals with things in their own way and I… I don’t know how to deal with death, I don’t know how to deal with pain and hurt in this capacity.

As an atheist I don’t believe in a god, I don’t believe in heaven or in hell, but I am afraid of death. I am terrified that one day it’s going to be over for me, this thought overwhelms me to the point where I can not breath, where I am afraid to be inside of my own head. I need to believe there is something other than nothing at the end, but I can’t.

In the end, it’s mother nature’s twisted tale that tell us all when it’s over, when it’s time.