Is 2017 Already Over!?

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I asked my friend the exact same question yesterday. I don't know where the days went; all I know is that I'm far from the same person I was when the year began.

I went into 2017 as a hairdresser with no idea what she really wanted and already given up on the dream of going to university for that very reason. I also had a part-time job at a certain sportswear store. I was determined to being kept on for a permanent position because getting a paycheck every week gave me LIFE. I was used to saving up the money I was meant to spend on food for the week if I wanted anything because I didn't get pocket money. Getting £100 or so a week for spending time pretending to busy on a shop floor was better than spending it sitting around looking for things to do while being broke and bored. I also really loved liquorice.

2018 is now around the corner and I'm a law student who wants to work hard to become one of the firs black female judges in her country. I have a completely different set of friends from the ones I had when 2017 started with all the neglectful and/or negative friends off somewhere doing something because I decided I don't really care for anyone who tries to bring me down. My hair is no longer half blonde and is now half ginger and brown highlights. I'm also almost two stone lighter than when I went into 2018, even though I did initially gain and lose some weight at the start of the year. I still love liquorice, but I've had to swap it for almonds as I'm no longer about that carb life. The weight still continues to drop off but this time, my arms feel like solid rocks!

Since I got a Persona 4 Golden for Christmas last year, most of my spare time, when I haven't been either out with friends or doing these law assignments, has been spent playing or obsessing over Persona games. In 2017, I was all about that Digimon nostalgia thanks to Digimon Adventure Tri - a series I still haven't caught up with yet because I'm too busy watching Persona 4 or playing Persona 3 Portable when I have the time. I've never felt like duh-nuh-dun-nuh-nuh before. The Persona series is my new favourite franchise.

Rihanna became a part of 2017. When I wasn't trying to grab her Puma slides on sale, I was trying to scrape the money together so that I could go and buy my shade of foundation at Harvey Nichols, a place I don't even think I'd been in before. Now, I'm gonna be a regular at that bougie-arse place.

I went into 2017 employed and the was unemployed for the majority of it. Very recently, I've bee successful at a few things that will hopefully be permanent. Even though I enjoyed my old job, these new jobs will give me a lot of opportunities I probably wouldn't have gotten in my old job. My head is thinking about progressing academically now rather than just getting my NVQs so I could work at a salon somewhere.

Before this year, I had a strange tolerance to alcohol. I found out it's a common symptom of raging insulin resistance. Apparently, alcohol has to reverse something in insulin resistance before you can get drunk off alcohol. In 2017, I experienced my first drunken adventures and found that I still don't get hangovers or memory lapses no matter how much I drink.

I think I've became a lot more generous this year. I am selfish. I still am. It's just these past few months, I've actively gone out of my way to help people on more than one occasion in a way I haven't since maybe primary school? I would always tell people their strong points and give them words of encouragement and I'm starting to do all that again now that I'm in a better place.

As I said, I used to spoil myself with liquorice. I would buy one bag of the Panda liquorice and one of the Klene from the pound shop every time I went to replace my charger (the only thing Apple can't get right - always bloody breaking). I'd eat cereal if I had breakfast - normally Cheerios or Corn Flakes. I loved to make scrambled eggs in the morning, but had to hide all traces of it because my mum would screw at me if I ate all 6 eggs in a week. For my take-away treat, I'd buy a pizza and chips with a fizzy Rubicon.

Now, I don't have breakfast 90% of the time and if I do... It's still eggs lol. Except this time, I can easily convince my mum to allow it if I get a 15-pack. All I ever eat are some sort of salads. Cheddar, chicken or pork and iceburg lettuce. Some butternut squash and cabbage too. The weight falls off while I eat five rashers of bacon and 120 calories worth of cheese. Yet my body would store weight if I had a slice toast and a ham sandwich all week.

My looks have transformed too, without me noticing. I can feel my hip-bones sticking out again when I lie down. My arms look like I work out when the most I do since my gym membership ran out is carry my bag and folder around college. The hyper-pigmentation across my neck has faded a lot since I cut out carbs. My skin went through a dodgy stage this year. One little spot was enough to make me panic lol. Now, it's back to normal and my skin colour's more even. My hair is growing back at warpspeed. It's sooo healthy now and any traces of blonde are already gone! I wish the back would grow a bit quicker though because it looks like I'm growing out a short back and sides!

I've looked at my resolutions and thought about whether I did them or not.

1. Get some good hair - Didn't get the chance since I've been out of work. I still have that old Aliexpress wig but I have little to no desire of wearing it lol. I might give it to my sister instead.

2. Find your dream/ideal style - stick to it - This is me telling myself to find a style of clothing to fill my wardrobe with since I have bits and pieces from different genres but nothing that I can put together. I went from sporty at the top of the year to tropical and then to anything that's pink. My wardrobe is full of things that are either too big or quite old but I can wear them again.

3. Go gym at least 3-4 times a week - I did. Until I got a personal trainer half way through the year. And then nothing lol.

4. Forget about any past situations that prevented you from succeeding in the past. Literally, you don't remember them anymore - not even to brag about how you've changed - I was thinking to myself how I briefly remember going through something from my Facebook memories but can't figure out exactly what happened to get me so stressed.

5. Find something you really want to do and work towards it - BINGO!

6. Don't eat when/what you don't want to - carry suitable snacks for when sugar goes low. BM Bargains sells dried fruit too - you don't need to eat a meal 3 times a day just because Theresa May says so. Snack if you need to snack, meal if you need to meal. Don't force it unless it's Sunday. - Poor me worrying about my low sugar levels lol. The doctors were clearly trying to kill me. Now my body doesn't rely on sugar, I don't get those shakes and weird headaches any more.

7. Write some bars at least once a week. Anytime you're feeling some type of way, write things down. It's against your personality but at least give it a try. - It very much was against my personality lol. I've tried to write bars consistently but I can't do it. I'd rather put my writing energy towards my essays and blog now anyway. I need to write something new again. Best thing I wrote this year was my Kendrick DNA remix hands down.

8. Keep cheerful until it comes back. Remember when you never used to think? Bring them times back. - I don't even remember when I did think! What did I have to think about when I had my job? Oh yeah, negative friends lol. I don't think anymore.

9. You have goals but you are who you are. Don't try to change the impossible. There's no such thing as a 'perfect self'. Just because you're not lead by morals, don't think you can't have a perfectionist side. - Surprisingly true. I'm selfish, overly flexible, self-centred, ho-ish and indulgent. I've always thought back to when I wasn't like that and wondered if I'm the same person like it's impossible for me to change. Despite this, I still want what's best for myself and I'm not afraid to aim for it.

10. Start waking up early enough to do your make-up again (6:30-6:45) Proper galify yourself again like you used to. Just because you feel like breezing through college, don't mean you can't look how you want to. - Amen to that. I don't need to wake up that early to do a full face anymore, but I do like looking nice to college. Especially since I'm around men now *sneaky face*.

It's time for me to start thinking about new resolutions already. Knowing me, I'll decide them right as Big Ben starts chiming for the New Year. There are some things I very much want now but I refuse to wait until the new year to get them!


My Relationship With Optimism

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So, one thing people always find strange is that I can directly state everything that's going wrong and still manage to say something positive. Not blindly optimistic positive, but a 'let's move forward positive'.

Trust me, my life has gone in all types of directions. There hasn't been one point in my life where I can say something was stable. My education, my social life, health, family life - nothing. One thing that seems to have been constantly in my mind is my willpower.

I wanted to call this 'My Guide to Optimism' but I couldn't exactly 'guide' someone about being optimistic when that's naturally how I am. Whenever I have a setback, I might feel annoyed about it but there's something inside my mind that allows me to bounce back every time. My mind doesn't allow itself to stay negative. My mind prioritises irritability, impatience and criticism over things like sadness and worry.

They say people like me (Enneagram 7w8) can distract ourselves with anything positive. We sometimes neglect our responsibilities because our enjoyment and self-fulfilment are top priority. I mostly agree with that, but I can still be a very responsible person if I have to.

When something bad happens to me, my mind tries to distract me and everyone around me from the extreme emotions it can cause. I try to bring a positive and light-hearted attitude wherever I go and can get aggressive if it's anything other than high-energy or full enjoyment. I don't mind sitting back and having a sesh in someone's yard, but I thrive in high-energy environments with lots of other people and/or full participation from the people I'm with. My problem is I can't create those environments on my own, so I try my hardest by almost playing up my reactions to things so that other people feed off my energy.

Whenever I go out, I plan to use us all the energy I brought out with me. I don't feel fully satisfied until I have spilled all my energy out and helped the people in my group do the same. It can backfire if the other people didn't enjoy the outing, but then that gives me a motive to go out again. "I will make this person have a good night!". One of the best things I can hear is "I needed a laugh!" after I've entertained everyone with my nonsense.

If I sense for a second that someone is feeling down, I'll try to cheer them up. A part of me tells myself that I only do it for selfish reasons - I don't like negativity. Another part of me says I must secretly care for people. Either way, I like to impose my positive energy on other people if they're near me. I've pissed off chronic grumps, ended up with negative friends and just basically became a nosy, obnoxious person who picks up strays.

During times of adversity, I keep positive by looking for a solution. I don't prioritise peace of mind so I can looked really scattered to other people. Things can't drag me down easily because I'm a natural troubleshooter. That's why I struggle to understand people who wallow in their own self-pity. One of my favourite things about myself is my ability to deal with things and bounce back. When I see another person allow their problems - ones that are easily solvable - drag them through the dirt, I wonder why they hate themselves so much.

Another thing that seems to pick me up when I'm down, apart from myself, is music. Music is a massive part of my life. All I need is to hear the first chord or word of a song I like and my mood improves 200%. Say I'm sitting at home feeling tired and an advert comes on. All I need is the first note from Kendrick's HUMBLE and I'm suddenly cured. Seriously, music makes me feel some type of way. Put on a good track and I feel like I could take on a whole army.

Despite all this, I am very mood-swingy. I can get irritated and vocal as quickly as I can be cheered up but it takes a certain amount of stupid to actually make me mad. And even that I turn into some kind of sport. If I get into a fight, everyone around me turns into an audience. My aim is to either humiliate or defeat the other person and have the crowd cheer. I don't know why I seem to think that every fight is like a rap battle, but I do! That's why I like debating in lessons so much. I like to hear another person's opinion and be able to argue my view without any long-lasting damage.

If someone asked me: "Bubblee, how do you stay so positive?", I'd probably say: "It's just how I am. I love life and I love doing stuff. I know things ent that bad as long as I can still do things.". I would say my temperament is something Choleric-Sanguine. I very much like to do things and can be very aggressive at times but first and foremost, I like to enjoy myself.

P.S.: When I heard the beat to Queen Bitch, I went maaaaad.

Top 10 Problems With The Gaijin Gyaru Community - 2017 Edition

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Now, I'm not about negativity. I said I was going to post inspirational posts for the rest of the year but I changed my mind. The comm had it coming.

I already mentioned a few of the problems with the community in my return post since things have changed slightly since then. Despite that, I decided I'll make a list of the things the comm could improve on.

This isn't an attack towards anyone in the community, the community itself or the efforts others have put into the community. If anything, it's something everyone in the community can look at and laugh at because we're all in the same boat.

While I haven't been too active in the gyaru community (mostly due to my poorness, everyone else being in London and the fact that I hate the idea of online only friends), the reasons I list are a good idea of some of the reasons why. I feel blessed to be a part of (even if I'm irrelevant) the U.K gyaru comm. I think we've got the best mindset and willpower next to the Scandanvian gals.

So, I'll let's begin!

1. Trolls

The trolls are the biggest enemy. They join the groups, forums and add people on Facebook just so they can lurk and bring all their information to 4chan or lolcow. Trolls come in all different types. Most of them pretend to be gals on the internet to bully people out of the style by claiming they're not doing it right or saying that imaginary Japanese girls somewhere are laughing at them. Trolls normally comment on posts of gals with comments like: "So not kawaii" whenever they see a photo of one of the gals doing something like smoking... As if old egg models didn't take photos with their arses hanging out in the middle of the street! Trolls are easily spotted by their misinformation, snarky attitudes and lack of selfies.

2. Snobs

Within the comm itself, there are many snobs. A snob will slate how 'normies' dress, calling them 'sluts and wh*res', while wearing Ma*rs stocking and garters with visible cleavage. They claim that they have inside information on gyaru culture. A snob will talk about how others can't co-ordinate their outfits properly or how other people brand-ho without creativity. A snob will passively-aggressively criticise a newbie's make-up using tired comments like: "I can't see your contour in that photo" when the rest of their visible make-up is on fleek. They claim to understand and be able to read Japanese yet make no efforts to translate things for the rest of the community. Snobs like to think of themselves as a superior type of gyaru. Most of the snobs have "Been to Japan and been told-" or "A Japanese friend who said-" yet in all their wisdom, they still look the same (or worse) than everybody else. Snobs like to talk about how much they know but have little to no signs of a social life.

3. The 'Are They Even Gyaru?'s

They 'don't have the confidence' to be gyaru, yet spend a lot of their time making waves in the community. They have a lot to say about the girls who can be bothered to start doing the make-up and when confronted, turn into a pool of tears. They'll cry about how everyone else looked so cool. They'll bring up the one time three years ago they posted a picture on the, now extinct, Facebook group and how one person didn't like her eyebrows. If they do post a picture of themselves, they are the biggest Plain Jane you could imagine, with no signs of any effort being put into their looks. But still, they insist on slating the true members of the comm out of spite and jealousy.

4. The 'Pagyaru'

I am also 'Pagyaru'.
'パギャル' = 'a half arsed gyaru'
In adult life, most of us are in some form or another 'pagyaru'. These women are split into two categories. The first type of pagyaru that cause a problem are the ones who only wear sexy clothes and make-up as a costume. If you add pagyaru on Facebook after a meet, in not one selfie will they be wearing any make-up; will they be promoting the fashion; will they be... gyaru. A pagyaru will show up to a meet with okay make-up and co-ord. For whatever reason, pagyaru normally wear Liz Lisa-type clothing and subtle make-up. Maybe they changed their mind about being gyaru? But then you still see them occasionally showing up to meets every now and again. Maybe they see meets as a type of cosplay convention? Who knows.

The second type seem to miss the basic steps of things like gyaru make-up constantly. The community will try to guide them and gently let them know that their eyebrows need clipping or that they should use dark eyeshadow instead of harsh black liquid liner under their eyes. But for some unknown reason they just don't get it. You feel a bit sorry or these pagyaru, even if you question exactly how much effort they put into the style. You don't know what it is exactly that makes them want to do the style when it's clearly not for them but don't have the heart to tell them so bluntly. For some reason, a good half of the gyaru who enter the community are this type for a while before leaving to go to (or back to) Lolita or something.

5. The Internet

How did you find out about gyaru fashion? How did you meet people who dress that way? What is it you want to achieve? Everyone's answer to these three questions will probably have something to do with the internet. Even if it helps us become more aware of the trends in Shibuya, the internet can be our worst enemy. Instead of making connections on the street like the original gyaru did, we go online to do it. Maybe it's because I'm not the online friend-making type, but I don't like the sort of personalities that come from the internet. Outside of Japan, the style is haunted by trolls, people who don't even leave their houses, fake articles and other things that the gyaru in Japan wouldn't even have to bother with. It makes it harder to get your average person interested in a style when the community itself seems to be stuck in the internet age from 10 years ago. Everyone uses Instagram and Snapchat now. Ameblo and crooz blogs are a thing of the past. If we used the internet to our advantage instead of things like Gyaru Secrets and 4chan, maybe we could progress?

6. 4Chan and lolcow - The Aftereffects of Gyaru Secrets

Let's not lie. Egg and the other magazine ending didn't kill off the comm. Gyaru Secrets did. For those who don't remember, Gyaru Secrets was an anonymous site where you could post 'secrets'. Of course, when put in the hands of internet-type personalities, rather than people critiquing the comm, people started slating each-other. Some girls in particular got a lot of hate and it led to numerous girls (some who were amazing and really nice people) leaving the comm for good.

4Chan and lolcow seem to be modern-day substitutes for that website. For people to move to 4Chan, they already are proving to be the literal scum of the internet. All kinds of trolls can comment and say what they like about the fashion or the girls themselves and it is much more active than the Facebook groups. These dirty troll sites are the biggest shame of this community. You never know which person could be using the site and saying what about who and to some people, that can really mess with their heads.

7. Japan

Japan itself. If the style was from any other country, things would be easier to order, prices would be better and somebody somewhere would offer a gyaru specific shipping service. But of course, no, this is Japan. Japan makes you send two forms of identification before you can use a shipping service. Japan is an island, which immediately makes shipping more expensive. If Japan was a socionics function, it'd be Si - stubbornly clinging to past methods even though they're no longer effective. If you like any type of media from Japan (especially from Avex), then you know exactly what I'm talking about. For that reason, it's hard for foreigners to get a hold of information, clothing, even a pack of bloody eyelashes from Don Qi. They could have made so much money during the gyaru boom if they did what Rakuten did and made an international store for this stuff. The only people who reach out to us were Black Diamond who may or may not have only been doing so just to use us... Who knows.

8. Lack of Inspiration

What are we aiming for? Sure, we want to be 'the best gyaru we can be' and all that jazz, but exactly what is that? In the modern day, gyaru isn't all that different from just being generally fashion conscious. The make-up's not as flashy, the clothes aren't as flashy, the circle lenses aren't as flashy. Nobody wears bottom eyelashes anymore and the only ones doing extreme styles (Black Diamond) have made themselves pariahs. Sure, we can keep the 15mm lenses, Diamond Lash Princess underneath our eyes and D.I.A belts around our hips, but we won't look fashion conscious. Instead we'll look like a hounds-tooth print dress - very 2013 and embarrassingly out of date. So, do we conform to the current standards of gyaru or just stick to finding 2011 pieces from Blue Moon Blue because they people who owned it previously wouldn't be seen dead in it anymore?

9. Badly Translated Information

Does she know what her top says?
There is so much misinformation going around the internet that it makes me a mix between disappointed, angry and just cringing. I can read minimal Japanese and can see that some of the snobs in the past (knowingly or not) lied about things like what is classed as what style and different styles in general and the words of Black Diamond members. It doesn't help that Buzzfeed made a video where Aochan and co were talking about 'gyaru' and they just decided 'ganguro' was pretty much the same thing and a better fitting translation.

Gyaru style in general is gyaru-kei or ギャル系, which is an umbrella term but for some reason, a good chunk of the comm believe it's a separate gyaru substyle. 黒ギャル (kuro gyaru) are any gyaru who tan and 白ギャル (shiro gyaru) are gyaru who don't tan. 強めギャル (tsuyome gyaru) means 'strong gyaru'; as in heavier make-up and a flashier style. Yet people believe these are all separate styles of gyaru because of that style list that's been going round since God knows when. There are phrases like 黒んば (kuronba) and ビビンバ (bibinba) going around, when the former is actually a colourist/racist term for dark-skinned and black people. 姉ギャル (ane gyaru) and オラオラ (ora ora) are separated even though an Ane Gyaru is a gyaru who follows Ora Ora style.

Then there's the fact that Japan themselves are confused about which style is which and who's called what. The difference between ganguro, yamanba and manba confuse everybody outside of the style. I probably confusing even the new school gyaru. By the way, manba have nose stripes and white make-up under the eyes with neon hair colours while yamanba had brown, blonde or silver hair with minimal colour most of the time and just white eye-makeup.

10. The Clash of The Styles

To tan or not to tan... That is the question!
There is a clear divide in interests in the community. In the red corner, we have the feisty, sexy, assertive, leopard-print sporting gyaru. Then in the blue corner, you have the frilly, bow-donning, pump-wearing, pink loving gyaru. When we mix, we look like a freak show. At least in Japan, you can have a group who all wear a similar style so that you complement each-other. When you go to a meet and one of you look like a 90s hip-hop throwback, another like a bar girl and the other like she just might be in a biker gang, you stand out. Whether it's for the right or wrong reasons, you can decide. Some of us are still in love with old-school fashion and wear giant platform boots, neon hair and white panda make-up. Some others look like they just put on minimal eyeliner and lashes with a frilly dress and left the door like that. Then there's the aggression from either side. The hime-kei lovers saying the tsuyome gyaru look like slags and the tsuyome gyaru saying the hime-kei gyaru can't even be called gyaru.

I could just say "We're all the saaame! We should all get alooong!" but should we really? I mean, look at us! We may all be gyaru, but we dress completely different. It's bad enough that we all have different hobbies, lifestyles and interests from each other but when the one thing we're supposed to have in common is something you... don't have in common, what do you do? 

The divide between the style doesn't have to be hostile. But we're far from all being the same. There were different magazines for a reason. Egg knew exactly what type of girls would dress their way. As did Popteen, as do Ageha. Because they know who to target, you get certain personalities going to each style thanks to the magazine. Since we don't have that luxury outside of Japan, you scrape a community together out of people who don't even have fashion in common to celebrate said uncertain fashion.

That's it for my list! I had fun writing this while catching up on the soaps. I finished one of my essays and still have a cold, so I don't really have much else to do. It's one of those strange colds where you think you're fine, but you're sneezing, your body aches and you're physically cold. Despite all that, all I can think about is going out drinking but I've had to sit out even though it's my week off. Hopefully, I'll be able to go out tomorrow night because I desperately need to go somewhere because as great as Persona 3 Portable is, I wanted to go out a lot this week.


Gal Up 2017

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One of the reasons I started blogging in the first place was because of my love for gyaru fashion. I don't think I ever actually explained what sort of clothes I generally like to wear since it has changed slightly over the past few years.

Back when I first got into gyaru (2013-ish), there was a big nautical boom. I'm not sure if Koda Kumi's Bon Voyage had anything to do with it, but people started wearing navy, anchors and horizontal stripes. Black Diamond were booming and considered 'the new direction of kuro-gyaru'. Egg magazine was a year away from ending publication. Ayumi Hamasaki was probably at the worst point in her career. And last but not least, 109 was starting to water down their fashion. Oh, those memories.

I fell in love with D.i.a spec's leopard and zebra print, leg warmers and chains around that time. My love for it still hasn't faded, but I think Black Diamond killed the combination a good few years ago. These days, what I like from D.i.a spec are things like this:

They're like 'watered down' versions of the pieces they used to sell.

I started to ask myself whether gyaru had 'watered down' or whether general fashion has... flashified. A lot of 'normal' clothes are looking much more like how gyaru clothes used to look and vice versa. As long as you have the make-up and the 'aura', anyone can still be gyaru even in these clothes.

Black Queen has always been the go-to for Ane-Kei. I always thought Onee looked either too watered down or too 'frumpy' back in 2013. I think that's when I decided I much prefer the faux-masculine looks of the Ane brands like Black Queen.

Yumachi still models for them, which is obviously a big bonus. The clothes have only very recently started to look less gyaru, but because the models are still very much gyaru, it doesn't really have as much of an impact as shops like D.i.a spec. It's shifted more from Ora Ora and Ane style to Onee style in the past year or so. Either way, I have a pajama and leg warmer set from them that they still sell on their webpage that is very much Ane-style:

This isn't the set that I have, but it looks very similar. My set is leopard print instead of dali print, but it looks pretty much the same... And it's a bit more fluffy too.

Rady is a brand I used to pretty much ignore. I already said I thought Onee was too 'old' for me back in '13, but in '17, some of the pieces they've been dropping look exactly like the sort of things I'd buy.

I'm not sure if Tomochin was a good addition to the line-up or not lol. Rady still very much acknowledge their roots with their little Agejo and Manba mascots dotted around their websites and blog pages. They have a lot of faux fur too, which I love.

The Real Reason I Went Away

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So it's been a couple months since I last posted here. I decided that I was going to focus 100% on my social life, my education and my Youtube channel. Instead, I ended up not even starting a channel properly and just focusing on the first two things.

I have a few reasons for this. One, I found learning how to edit and customise videos too time-consuming. I'm the sort of person who can pick things up easily but I have a perfectionist streak. I don't want to start off with mediocre videos. My editing has to be damn near perfect, my lighting has to be good, my make-up and hair need to be on fleek. I'm normally laid back and don't take things seriously but I do take a lot of pride in my work and the things I do. I don't think people are aware of this side to me. I like to do things to the best of my ability unless I absolutely hate it. But since this is a hobby, of course I'd want to do well.

I've looked at the first videos from other Youtubers and saw how they edited the video; how well presented they looked; how many times they used special effects or cut things. Then I looked at the videos I'd already uploaded and thought "What is it I wanted to achieve again? Because my videos ent bad or nothing, but it's like I don't know what I want to do..." and I just deleted everything so I could start over.

All I'd done so far were a couple of dodgy and unedited storytimes (one that I got a lot of updated info on lol) and a dodgy introduction that didn't really say what I wanted to do on the channel... Simply because I didn't (and still don't really) know myself.

Secondly, my social life went to shit. When I dropped all my toxic long-term friends at the start of this year, the combination of that and me being on a course I didn't really want to continue a-such with no job put me in this funk. It was so horrible because I didn't really know what caused it. I was tired all the time, I felt like I couldn't communicate well with everyone, even though I really liked everyone on my course, the days started blending together. It was like a fake depression.

I'd lost my temp job, most of my friends and my mind wasn't being stimulated enough by just doing hairdressing. My mum kept telling me that I needed to get a new job and rethink my education. It was at it's worst when I spoke to someone on my course who I went primary school with and she said that she was surprised I was so quiet because I was always loud. That started some kind of complex. I felt like I was just some kind of robot pretending to get along with people and like my sociability had died somehow. I kept asking people if I was being more quiet than usual and got excited if someone told me I was chatty that day.

I didn't even realise how bad I felt until I started the law course I'm now on. As soon as the lessons started and I met everyone on the course, my mind cleared up and my energy came back. I know who I am but I felt like I'd lost my identity for most of the year.

My nickname isn't 'Strong Bubblee' for no reason. No matter what I've been through, emotional or physical, I've always found a way to come back out on top with a big-arse smile on my face and limitless energy. Despite my 'purity', I'm not afraid of confrontation or competition. Even in those times, I'm always positive and optimistic. I like high-energy atmospheres with good vibes and effervescence. That's why I'm Strong Bubblee. But for the majority of this year, I felt like an internal Debbie Downer. I'm sure that people on my hairdressing course noticed as well eventually. That's why I haven't really kept in contact with anyone from there. It's because my personality just shut down for those months.

So in a nutshell, I was uninspired and dispirited. I tried not to let it get on top of me because I felt like I was letting those shit friends I kept have some sort of power over me. It's not like it was some big event where they stabbed me in the back so I could say "Well, they don't deserve my time" it was more a gradual thing where I realised for some friends, they weren't going to grow or change in any way and that I was wasting my energy on those people.

One thing I've always done is take people under my wing. I don't do it to get anything in return per se, I just do it because it seems like I could enjoy their company. But I just hate it when I feel like people are dependant on me for things and never want to think for themselves. I'm not God. I'm not even Jesus. I'm an adult now and I don't remember giving birth to any kids. If they don't want to grow up and start being independent, then it's not my fault and it's not my job to be sticking around helping them, especially when they have actual parents who are very much present.

For a while, I genuinely lost what little sense of self I have. I only see myself as my interests and experiences. I'm not the sort of person who can accurately define or describe themselves too well. If somebody asked me who I was before The Funk, I would have said "I'm obsessed with fashion and Victoria Secrets models! I like travelling and learning foreign languages. I also like going out on the weekend, drinking and partying and grime music!" but if you asked me earlier this year, I would have smiled a plastic smile and said something that described how I 'used' to be. I honestly thought my personality was changing and just put it down to me ageing.

Since I started law school and made new friends or rekindled relationships with older ones, I've felt refreshed. I convinced myself that every person I met before 2014 is crazy and that I should focus on the friends I've made in college lol. I love the new course that I'm on and feel like I finally know what my life's ambition is.

What I plan to do in the next two months is: start that bloody Youtube Channel again, lose even more weight (I've lost a stone and a half since my last post), get another job cus I'm sick of being broke and restart my love life... maybe lol.

I should give myself a big pat on the back for being able to take such good care of my mental health after all this shit that's happened. I had so many things that could have dragged me right the way down happen in the past few years but I've always somehow managed to grab the rails and steer myself back in the right direction. That's the thing I'm the most proud of. I'm proud of still keeping my head screwed on and never letting anything confuse me... Not for too long anyway lol.

An extra thing that's bothered me this year is the direction gyaru is going in. I really like it! If you follow the former models and AV actors on Instagram, you'll see how the style in some ways has changed for the better.

Instead of those plastic looking Diamond and DonQi lashes we've been using up until now, the girls have decided that lash extensions are the way to go. Eye make-up is, for some of them, better than before and the lenses have only gotten prettier.

One thing that bugged me before was how gyaru seemed to do everything first and then the rest of the world (who knows if it was on purpose) started doing the same things after. But nowadays, it seems gyaru and baddie culture are very much in sync. The only things that stops a gyaru from being a baddie are the size of her colour contacts and the size of her arse lol. Literally, that's the only difference I'm seeing. Even though I'm very much a meet-only member of the gaijin gyaru comm, hopefully that will turn away some of the elitists who seem to think that gyaru is something completely different to how the girls who live in their area dress. It's the same fake tans, skimpy clothing and hair extensions you see everywhere. I don't know why you see some of these vile online comments calling so-called 'normies' 'slutty' and 'prostitutes' and all that B.S. like gyaru isn't exactly the same thing. That's the reason why I've never been interested in joining and making friends in an online community like that. You either meet me in person or I don't care.

On top of all that, the gaijin gyaru comm has always left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't like that these girls think 4chan is an acceptable place to discuss the fashion. 4chan. Effing 4chan. It's the literal definition of sad. I'd've never even looked twice at that website if I didn't know the girls were posting on there. Maybe it's my preconceptions but I'd always associated 4chan with the scum of the internet. It makes me think of sweaty middle aged white men who either still live with their mothers or make money off video games or computers. They drink Monster energy drinks like fish and probably haven't cleaned their room since they moved in. Because they have no social life or hobbies, they get their kicks off trolling on the internet. That's my image of a 4chan user. That's why I'm mad the Facebook groups went dead. Facebook is a 'normal' platform and not so anonymous. You could think it was Katie making a post about Jennie but it's actually Adam from Gemany who has no life and wants to start beef in the comm. It's shit. Even though we got rid of Gyaru Secrets, we still have that 4chan page where it's rare people are actually talking about gyaru itself.

I genuinely like the girls I've met through the fashion but some of them are so two faced. They appear one way in person but you take one look at their Facebook page and, I swear down, sometimes you wonder if they're even safe to be around. Others have little to no interest in fashion generally and seem to only want to be a part of the group because gyaru is from Japan (they don't stay around long) and others are just great to be around but I feel like I have nothing in common with them outside of the fashion.

I like to talk to all kinds of people and can get along with anyone but when you're in a big group and you're always the minority, you start to wonder if you should stick around. I've never had an interest in an alternative fashion other than gyaru and even before I had a name for it, I always loved leopard and zebra print, lace and dressing just a little bit sexy with little touches of cute. Everyone else seems like they came from Lolita or some kind of Scene/Emo phase and they had similar interests growing up and there's me being mainstream apart from my love of Japanese RnB lol. I don't really talk to anyone outside of meets and I don't think I'm on the radar too much either. It doesn't really matter to me but it makes me want to know if I'm honestly the only one in the whole of the UK comm who's that way.

In the time I've been away, I've been watching Youtube videos a lot more. When I first said I was going to start a channel, the only Youtubers I used to watch were Cosmoholics Anonymous, Hey Paris and He Flawless. While I still see them as the 'holy trinity' of YouTube, I watch all kinds of channels now like Asian Boss, Tootsie Time (If her channel is still called that), Kennie J.D and loads more. The only channel I used to always watch before all those was Lovely Ti because I've always been interested in celebrity gossip.

What I learned from watching all these Youtubers is that there's not really a 'right' way to do Youtube. I didn't think I was failing or doing something wrong, but I wanted there to be a theme to my channel, if that makes sense. I wanted someone to hear the name 'Strong Bubblee' and think "Oh, that's that British girl who does videos about blah blah-" and maybe that wasn't the best approach. I should really just upload whatever I feel like uploading but just make sure that it's frequent so that people don't think I'm dead lol.

All I have to do really is make use of the time I'm alone so I can't get disturbed. I wake up much earlier than I did and only have college three days of the week. Even though I have work to do, I can use time when I'm not home alone to do that. I should use my time much more wisely and get into making videos again.

So that's all my updates and thoughts for the past couple months! I'll have to update this blog as well to make sure my profile and FAQs still have relevant information and just put more effort into the way this thing looks.

I'll make sure to post at least every fortnight on this blog! My motivation and energy is back full force and I'm going to make good use of it!



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It's your qualified hair dresser speaking!

Finishing college felt like a huge achievement. Everything was trying to stop me, I swear down.

First, I went home sick one day because I was feeling queasy out of nowhere and as I got off the bus and tried walking back home, I literally couldn't put any weight on my ankle. Woke up the next few days with it getting more and more painful and decided to go to a walk-in since my sister was going there anyway. Told I had a 'bad sprain' and the doctor gave me some numbing gels and strong-ass painkillers that knocked me out for most of the next week.

As if that wasn't enough, I woke up with tons of bites all along my leg, the same leg I had sprained my ankle on. These were no normal bites. I had thick giant lumps all up my legs and the swelling.... The SWELLING. It looked like I had elephantiasis. It was disgusting and painful and itchy. It was so bad, my grandma even sacrificed her pull out chair so I could elevate my leg and anyone who knows my grandma knows she always thinks I over-exaggerate when I'm feeling sick.

That was almost a month ago since I first got bit, but it still keeps happening and only on that leg so I lowkey think something else happened. There's a giant black scar across my skin and it feels dry and rough. Touching it when it was still sore felt literally like I was losing sensation but at the same time, my touch was heightened so even wearing baggy clothes would aggravate it.

And the cherry on top of the cake, I got really flu-ish for a good week and a bit. My nose kept running, my eyes kept watering, I just felt disgusting and I tried to hide it from my clients.

I still got compliments on my work and carried on passing off assessments at bullet speed. Because one client didn't show up, I had to come in one day after my end date just to show I could do a full head of highlights.

Of course I passed and now I'm fully qualified and had lots of time to do the things I want before I do a uni entry course! Yay!

I'm headed to Feurteventura next week and I'm finally going to make use of my Youtube channel. I'm going to put a Vlog of my experience and the things I'll do there. It's not as fun I think when you're going with family - especially one like mine. I'll probably just walk around on my own recording everything and showing off the fancy hotel we're going to.

Lens Village had some kind of blue lens sale on (not surprised since no-one wants to wear blue lens anymore lol) and I picked up a pair of Geo Nudy CH-932. They don't look anything like the pictures I've seen, but that's just from looking at them in the vials. I'll do a full review when I get back to England.

Youtube has been pissing me (and loads of other people) off recently. I even reconsidered starting my channel because they love demonitizing people like me over stupid shit all the time. All these Youtubers are like "I'm gonna contact my lawyer! I'm not playing with you, Youtube!" and I'm just a humble little Brummie who wants to start lol.

I can see that the end is nigh. I don't want to put my effort into starting something that will either be closed down or completely changed and abandoned in the next couple of years.

Everything I do from now until I'm about 24 will be a gamble. I'll be putting my feet in waters I haven't before and just seeing how things go. I like knowing the consequences to all my actions and the possibilities that will come from choices I make. But as an adult... it's like I'm constantly unaware of things and I'm always researching so that I don't fall behind and miss something important. I don't want to essentially sign any contracts where I'm not seeing the fine print.


Facing 21

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So I'm 19. I'm just over a year and half away from being 21. 20 is what I consider an adult. 25 I consider the true end of puberty. It's mad to think I won't be a teenager anymore soon. Since there's so many things I still haven't done yet, it makes me feel like I've got catching up to do.

I have a love-hate relationship with the internet. I'd much rather spend my time out with other people doing something but even when I'm around friends, some of them seem to find their phones more interesting than the rest of their life. Music is so accessible now. I don't have to go to a rave to hear grime tracks from most of these artists anymore. Online shopping is much more convenient and usually much cheaper than physically travelling to the nearest shopping centre to pick up those New Look shoes. Everything is online now and it means you spend less money and less time going out.

Unfortunately, I'm the sort of person who'd prefer to go to a cinema than stream the same movie at home. I'd rather put up with that annoying man in front who keeps getting up and that bratty kid who's kicking your back because their parents can't control them than illegally (or even legally) downloading the same movie at home. I like change. I don't like going to the same places all the time or being around the same people.

So when I go to my friend's house and she doesn't feel like going anywhere or doing anything different to what we normally do, I start to get frustrated. We could be going to that Sheesha place I always wanted to go or look around that new shopping centre they just built in the NEC. We could spend the day at the pub where we're likely to bump into other people we know or at least just walk around and chat instead of being stuck inside. So when my friends do things like this repetitively, I start to wonder how the Hell all the other people my age managed to get people together to do what they want to do when it seems I can't even get one friend in the mood to have fun.

My 19th birthday felt like shit to me because of these friends. Dropping them was great because I have people I enjoy hanging around with at college. But as I sat with this group of people, I'm not sure if it was the zoot in my hand or not but I started to think to myself; When was the last time I've ever been a part of a group? Should I join this group? I'm going to be the only black person again, is it fine? I'm out the loop on half of their gossip, will that be alright? I got a bunch of thoughts that made me realise - I haven't been part of a group since primary school. Not truly. I have lots of individual friends but not a group bigger than about 4 people at a push. Would I get tired of seeing the same faces all the time? But isn't that normal friendship?

I sometimes feel like shit for not keeping any of my friends from school. Everyone else I know still has their group from school except for the loners and I'm not a loner. I looked at the friend I kept from the longest from school was always negative. They didn't seem to want to move on from school and started getting a victim complex. I hate people like that. I like people who know what they want and fight for it or at least spend their time enjoying themselves and letting whatever comes come. So I had to break ties with them because the banter was dead and it was always me consoling them for the same shit that had been happening since school. They didn't even fight to keep me as a friend so I felt relieved.

Now, I just want to focus on what I want for my future. I know I want to go to uni but I have no idea what I want to study. I've always been interested in business, law and sociology, so maybe that's what I should study? I'm interested in my own looks so maybe that's why I went on to do hairdressing and fashion. I'm a genius and always have been. It sounds great to be this smart but honestly, if you have lots of interests and are good at everything, how do you pick what route you want to go down? I could see myself as a CEO of a raw hair company. I could see myself as a tourist. A personal trainer. Holiday rep. Court judge. Stylist. Interpreter. I've even seen myself working some mundane 9-5 office desk job just so I can wear my nails day in day out and know I'm getting paid the next month.

I want to be a grime MC in my spare time. I don't know if I have a talent for it or if it's a lifestyle I could see myself 100% in but I want to give it a shot. I want to learn how to write properly and instead of picking up a 2B pencil, I'll just get out my laptop and make something when I'm in the mood. I don't think I'm as creative as I used to be and I'm not sure if I should just let it go and focus on my career or fight against it and try to put my mind into the music.

I constantly feel like I spend too much time on my own and indoors but then I blame myself for not having another job. I really enjoyed the temp job I had and for some reason, my spending habits fixed themselves when I was getting a regular pay check. Instead of splurging all the time, I was looking at my statement, seeing another £100 and thinking "But I don't even want anything!". I need another job like that one - one where there's lots of young people who are chatty and laid-back.

By 2018, I want to have decided what it is I want to do in life. I want to have sorted my social life out and my educational life.
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