Chiaki Creates

The human mind, old films, literature, cats, art and design.


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Ch-ch-ch-changes and the myth of a perfect life

Chiaki Creates - The Myth of a Perfect Life chiakicreates.comHello my lovelies! Hope you’re well. As you know, I’ve been conducting some rather intense self-analysis lately and felt that I needed some time off blogging. All this soul-searching made me realise that this blog doesn’t feel like me anymore. I started resenting how it represented only one heavily edited side of me. I’m in no way perfect. I don’t have a perfect life. Far from it.

Everything I share online has been carefully chosen and edited, which is fine but it’s not the whole truth. I don’t tell you when I’m too anxious to leave the house for a couple of days or when I can’t stop crying because I’m fed up with fighting my depression. This is something I struggle with on Instagram as well. Many people don’t realise that it can take 20 minutes to get a snapshot right. They look at the pretty pictures and think that my life must be perfect. It’s just how our brains work.

The truth is that I’m fighting for happiness every day. Some days I’m not even sure I want to be happy because it just seems like too much work. All I really want to do is talk about difficult things. I want to talk about how life can be improved. I want to be radically honest with you. I want to focus on my two biggest passions: writing and the human mind. I have no desire to do any more crafty tutorials or outfit posts.

I’ve been labelled a craft blogger, fashion blogger and even an interior design blogger, yet I never wanted to be either of these. I blogged a lot about crafts yes, but I never wanted to be locked into one subject. I felt like my blog was going somewhere I didn’t want to go so I’ve changed direction and given my about page a makeover.

“This blog is all about living with intention, creating your own reality and appreciating the simple pleasures in life. My aim is to empower and inspire you to live like you mean it by showing you how you can make your life happier, better, simpler and fuller. I want to encourage you to question everything and realise your full potential. Most of all though, I want to make you smile.

I’ve struggled with mental health issues (mainly depression, anxiety, panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder) my whole life. I’m not claiming to have all the answers but I’ve learnt a few things along the way, so I write to help others, as well as myself.”

I hope you’re as excited for this new journey as I am.


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I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring

Sixties Vintage Fabric Bright Rainbow Pom-Pom Tassel Scarf by Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI love the novelty of new things. Always have. I thought that I was simply a woman who gets bored very easily but recently it dawned on me that the reason that I love change so much, is that I’m not willing to commit to anything. I’ve always strongly disliked feeling trapped and I’ve now realised that I’m afraid of becoming trapped due to poor decision making. Of course then it’s easier to not commit to anything, but I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I wasn’t committing. It was quite a revelation.

I never stay long in the same place. The last few years I haven’t had many belongings because they make me feel tied down. I didn’t go to uni because I couldn’t bring myself to commit to a subject for several years and I also didn’t want to commit to a never-ending student loan repayment plan. I change jobs often because I’m afraid that I’ll end up working in the same place forever. I’ve re-invented my personal style and adopted new personas so many times that I’ve lost count. I can’t commit to creative projects for too long because as soon as they’re not challenging anymore, I move on to something that is. I’m passionate about something for a while and then I find something else to be passionate about.

Frankly, I’m not good at committing to relationships or friendships either. I don’t let people get too close to me emotionally because I don’t want them to be able to hurt me. I know, it’s ridiculous. What’s even more ridiculous is that I do commit to people who are not available, e.g. friends who end up moving to the other end of the world or men who are unwilling to commit to a relationship. I’m still not completely OK with the fact that my parents divorced when I was 12, and I believe that being the product of a broken home is the reason why I’m so independent. It’s also the reason why I don’t let myself become too attached to people who are within reach.

So it appears that I have unconsciously designed my life like this because I have a pathological need to be able to move on from things when I get bored, to leave before I’m left behind. I cherish my freedom but at the same time, I miss having something that I can rely on. My 30th Birthday was a massive turning point and I’m determined to learn how to commit to the people and things that I genuinely do want in my life. I’m at a crossroads right now and I can feel a shape shift coming on. I’m slowly changing how I dress and I’m selling off my belongings again. I have so many different ideas at the moment. I don’t have it all figured out yet but that’s not a reason to not move forward.

The irony of this blog post is that I’ve decided to take a break from blogging to be able to fully focus on a creative soon-to-be-announced project and everything else that’s going on in my life right now. Don’t fret, I will be back before you know it and I might blog every now and then if inspiration strikes. See, I can’t even commit to not blogging for a while! I’ll still be on all other social media though and you can always send me an email.

The title of this post is a quote by the master shape shifter himself, David Bowie.­


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Happy Birthday to me: 30 life lessons at 30

Chiaki Creates - 30 Life Lessons At 30 chiakicreates.comToday I’m officially leaving my twenties behind and beginning a new chapter of my life. I couldn’t possibly be more excited! I’m spending my Birthday doing my favourite things: working on a very exciting soon to be announced project with my dear friend Chloë, eating loads of Japanese food, drinking wine, laughing, cuddling cats, reading (Jim Morrison’s poems at the moment), listening to freakbeat and getting loads of hugs. To mark this day I have decided to share these life lessons with you. Here are the 30 most important things that I’ve learnt during my 30 years.

1. There’s only this moment, live in it.

2. Material things are unimportant. Focus on experiences, making memories and connecting.

3. Don’t dream it, be it.

4. Expressing gratitude and enjoying the little things in life is the path to happiness.

5. Only compete with yourself.

6. Being naked is awesome.

7. Reading is always a good idea.

8. Wear whatever you want because it doesn’t matter what other people think as long as you’re happy.

9. An ex is an ex for a reason.

10. Don’t waste your time waiting for people.

11. When in doubt, watch A Bit of Fry and Laurie.

12. Learn something new every day.

13. Whole foods and yoga are fantastic.

14. The one thing that feels worse than the fear of failure is the regret of never even having tried.

15. Doing work you hate is never worth the money.

16. Dance, dance, dance.

17. Get out of your comfort zone.

18. Only you can make yourself happy.

19. The people who are there for you when everything falls apart are the people that matter.

20. Take every opportunity you get to laugh.

21. You can’t trust hairdressers.

22. There is such a thing as comfortable and attractive.

23. If you don’t like something; your appearance, job, location, name, partner, habits, attitude; change it.

24. Hate really is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

25. Alone-time should be treasured because not being defined by another person is a very good thing.

26. Your thoughts create your reality.

27. Practise thinking outside of the box because we unconsciously look for things that confirm what we already believe.

28. Always de-clutter.

29. You can only do what you believe that you can.

30. It’s not what people say, but what they do that matters.


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How to beat depression and get back on track

Chiaki Creates - How To Beat Depression and Get Back on Track chiakicreates.comYou probably know by now that I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety and panic attacks my whole life. After all these years, the most crucial thing that I’ve learnt when it comes to depression is that only you can make yourself better. I’ve worked incredibly hard for a very long time to be able to say that my life is really rather wonderful right now. I’ve also learnt the importance of staying vigilant and to not let your guard down under any circumstances.

At the end of November last year I was at the bottom of a dark well (metaphorically of course) when all of a sudden, everything fell apart. I found myself with no job, no money, no partner, not as many friends as I thought I had, and also eventually with no home. Yet, despite being completely broken and absolutely terrified, I managed to put my life back together again. With the support of my wonderful family and fantastic friends, who I can’t thank enough, I got through it. And that’s what’s been going on behind the scenes.

Once again, depression is in the news. We can never educate people enough about mental health and my hope is that reading this will help someone find the strength to carry on. Depression isn’t something that you can just ”snap out of”. It’s a very serious, very frightening illness. It becomes a part of you. Beating it requires extremely hard work but it’s so worth it in the end. Here are the things that I did that got me back on track.

Focus on looking after yourself
Don’t beat yourself up about not doing what you ”should” be doing. It can wait. You need to focus on caring for yourself right now. Let’s cover the basics first because you need to stay alive. Eat healthy food. Make sure you eat even if you can only stomach a little or certain types of food. Drink plenty of fluids. Drink green tea as it’s full of antioxidants. Take multivitamins. Go for long walks. Practise mindfulness. Do yoga. Make sure you go outside every day. Get as much sleep as possible. Your body and mind need it to be able to recover. Only take sleeping tablets if you really have to and only for a very short period of time as they are highly addictive.

Get it out of your system
Talk to your friends and family, your GP, a counsellor, online friends, strangers, Samaritans, cats, anyone. Talk until you’re tired of talking about it. Cry as much as you need to. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Expressing yourself will help you heal.

Write lists
Start a new notebook. This will be your ‘sorting out notebook’. Start by writing a list of what you want out of life, however outrageous. Then write a list of the steps you need to take to get there. Break them down into smaller steps and do one little thing each day until you feel well enough to do two, then three, then four and so on. Stop making excuses; do all those things that you’ve always wanted to do but never get round to. Write a list of all the good things in your life and highlight the good things about the situation you’re in. This is also where you write your emergency lists such as a list of all the people you can contact if you’re having a particularly bad day.

Do loads of fun things, laugh and celebrate
Watch and listen to loads of comedy. Go to stand-up gigs. Listen to music every day. Dance the Charleston and the Twist. Sing loudly. Read P.G. Wodehouse. Say yes. Try new things. Keep a ‘good things’ jar. Throw a dinner party. Go see some art. Eat out. Go to the pictures. Celebrate every little achievement. Celebrate being alive. For more ideas read 50 things to do when you need cheering up.

Get some perspective
If you’re able to, go away for a while. It will do you the world of good. You can’t get away from your inner struggles and worries, but you can get some perspective and figure out where to go from here. Distance can be a marvellous thing.

Surround yourself with supportive, loving people
Reach out to people and ask for help when you’re struggling. It can be extremely difficult but remember that asking for help does not mean that you’re a weak person. Some people will not be there for you when you need help but that’s okay. When you’re in pain, you will find out who your real friends are and that’s a very good thing. Keep in touch with people. Get out and see people as much as possible. Make new friends. Join a book club or a craft group. Make plans and look forward to things. Also, be kind to everyone. You never know who might end up becoming a vital part of your life.

Change things
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” I’m with Andy Warhol on this one. Sitting around doing nothing doesn’t change a thing. Time passing is only time passing. Sometimes bad things happen to make room for better things but if you don’t like something, you need to change it. If you can’t, accept that you can’t change it and instead change your attitude towards it. It’s difficult but it can be done.

Treat yourself lots
You need to be super kind to yourself right now. Do relaxing things and treat yourself as much as possible. Buy yourself a box of expensive chocolates. Make pancakes for breakfast. Take a bubble bath in candlelight. Share a drink or a cuppa and a laugh with a friend. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers. Wear your prettiest clothes. Change your hair. Buy some new art and crafts supplies. Use the nice china every day. Watch feel-good films. Have a large piece of chocolate cake in a pâtisserie. Soak up the sunshine. Fall in love with your city/town all over again. Go see a play or a musical in the theatre. Read books that make you smile. Cook your favourite dishes.

Seek inspiration
Literature, blogs, music, films, art, nature, people, animals. Inspiration is everywhere. Be open to everything that comes your way and actively seek out things that will stimulate your mind and get your imagination going. Variation is key to creativity and exposing yourself to new things will get your creative juices flowing.

Create stuff
Art is therapeutic. It makes you grow as a human being and it can even help you understand yourself better. Try a new medium and learn a new skill. Channelling your feelings and what is happening to you into making stuff will have a purifying effect and help you move forward.

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