I Should Not Be Allowed To Play Board Games…

I don’t really consider myself to be a competitive person.

In general, I would rather spend my energy cooperating with others, as opposed to trying to beat them.

However, there is one area of life which poses an exception to this rule – playing board games.

Nothing brings out the worst, most primal aspects of my personality quite like participating in a game of Monopoly, Cluedo or Kerplunk.

Logically, I am aware that getting overly competitive when playing board games is ridiculous.

I know, for example, that ‘The Game of Life’ is not as important as my actual life. However, when I am actually playing ‘The Game of Life’, the outcome of the game rapidly becomes the single most important thing in existence and I genuinely care more about the success of that teeny tiny little plastic human in their teeny tiny plastic car than I do about my actual human self.

This being said, most board games are specifically designed to encourage competitiveness. For example, the title of the game ‘Frustration’ is indicative of the fact that it is meant to induce a feeling of mild frustration in those who play it.

However, the phrase ‘mild frustration’ cannot do justice to the raw untamed rage that I experience when I am losing a board game.

It is as if all the competitiveness that I should be using in other areas of my life is stored up and released all in one go. All semblance of respectful and dignified adulthood crumbles and is replaced by an all-consuming desire to win, no matter the cost. 

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I’m Worried That I Worry Too Much…

I have a tendency to be quite an anxious person.

I think it’s impossible not to experience some form of anxiety in our interconnected modern world world.

Advances in technology have meant that we are exposed to more electronic stimuli than ever before (eg. emails, online news articles and social media notifications) and it is difficult for our brains to process all this information without becoming overwhelmed.

Humans have highly active imaginations.

On one hand, this is great because it enables us to think creatively, visualise solutions to problems and progress as a species.

Unfortunately, my imagination doesn’t seem to want produce ground-breaking scientific discoveries or beautiful works of art and instead spends a significant amount of its time blowing tiny insignificant things out vastly of proportion.

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In the past, I have tried to retrain my brain to think in a healthier, more positive way.

However, I have found that forcing myself to believe that things are fine doesn’t give me space to fully acknowledge and process any negative emotions that I may be experiencing.

iceburg-2.pngAs a result, I usually end up desperately trying to maintain a serene and dignified outer image, despite the fact that I am feeling distinctly less fine that I was previously.

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All in all, the best way to deal with anxiety is to take time to understand how it works what triggers it so that it is easier to live alongside it as opposed to pretending that it isn’t there.

It is also important to surround yourself with people who can provide you with emotional support and, more importantly, a ready supply of comfort food.

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The Pursuit of Artistic Glory.

When I was a younger, my main ambition in life was to be an artist.

My dad told me that the best artists were the ones that pushed the boundaries of artistic creation.

They were innovative and original and didn’t stick to the rules set out for them by their predecessors.

However, he also said that before an artist could break the rules, they would have to spend time mastering their craft as it was important understand how rules worked in order to find the most effective and impactful ways to push against them.

The spirit of artistic rebellion really struck a chord with me.

I decided in order to increase my chances of becoming a famous, revered artist, I would have to incorporate this ethos into my own artistic practice.

However, I wasn’t a very patient child. I didn’t have time to follow the rules in order to master my craft.

Instead, I just decided that I was going to break them straight away.

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My Neighbour’s Chihuahua Thinks He’s a Wolf…

Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years and, as time has gone on, our four-legged companions have had many roles in human society.

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Recently, a lot of dogs have become smaller to adapt to urban living conditions.

One of these small dogs lives down the road from me.

He is called Harold.

Visually, Harold is nothing short of angelic – he a sentient ball of fur, suspended a few inches above the ground by four stubby and extremely fluffy legs.

However, Harold cannot fathom the fact that he is a small dog.

His mind is completely out of sync with his body.

Although he is physically small in stature, I think that on some level, Harold whole-heartedly believes that he is a wolf.

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As a result, he cannot comprehend why he is not treated with the same sense of reverence and awe as his fearsome and majestic ancestor.

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Being called ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’ does not sit well with Harold.

In fact, it makes him very angry.

He therefore feels a constant and unstoppable urge to establish himself and remind anyone or anything that strays into his immediate vicinity that he is a force to be reckoned with.

img_0420.pngHarold’s has a severe case of  ‘small dog syndrome’.

He is under the impression that, if he yaps with enough frequency and intensity, he will eventually be able to transform his deluded perception of himself into reality and convince everyone that he is, in fact, a big dog.

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The Art of Taking a Good Passport Photo…

I love my passport – it enables me to travel all over the world and explore different countries.

However, there is one aspect of my passport that I do not like at all.

In my passport, I would ideally like a photo that portrays me as a happy, sun-kissed, free-spirited world traveller. Unfortunately, my current photo makes me look like a combination of a pale washed-out convict and a potato.

Now, I’m sure that there is a subtle art to taking a good passport photo – I just don’t have a clue what it is. As far as I’m concerned, it’s absolutely impossible.

In fact, I’m pretty certain that the secret to taking a good passport photo is just to have a good face in the first place, the kind of face that will still manage to look nice when it is stripped of all emotion and framed in awkwardly bright light before being stamped on an official document.

Unfortunately, I do not have one of these faces, which really doesn’t do anything for my passport photo’s overall aesthetic.img_0365.png

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I Think I Might Be A Modern Day Ebenezer Scrooge…

A Christmas Carol is one of my favourite festive stories, mostly because I feel a certain connection with the central character.

Although I do not identify with Scrooge’s attitude and general approach to life, on some level, I do relate to his experience in the novel.

Like Scrooge, I frequently find myself awake in the early hours of the morning.

However, unlike Scrooge, the voices that wake me up are not those of supernatural beings sent to teach me a lesson about the joy of Christmas and the fundamental meaning of life.  Instead, they are anxieties that originate from my own brain, piping up for no discernible reason whatsoever.

So, this Christmas, I have reimagined Dicken’s iconic spirits so that they represent some of the anxieties that often haunt me in the early hours – after all, there’s no better way to get into the festive spirit than using classic Christmas tales to analyse your own mental health!

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4 Real Life Halloween Characters.

It’s Halloween!

In order to celebrate this, I have created a quick list of a few classic Halloween characters that also exist in everyday life.

1.
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Sometimes, it is hard to distinguish a zombie’s clumsy, lethargic movements from those of the average human as they stumble towards the nearest source of caffeine on a Monday Morning.

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2.

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Is it a ghost or just someone who has become trapped in their duvet cover after climbing inside in a vain attempt to locate the corners?

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3.

img_0315-1Vampires are creatures of the night – they are notoriously sensitive to light, preferring to stick to darkened spaces.

The majority of hungover people tend to behave in a similar way.

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4.

img_0319-1The ‘Monster Under The Bed’ is a common feature in a wide range of Halloween films.

However, in reality, often the only thing haunting most people in the middle of the night is their own mind.

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