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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Twenty-Thirteen

Where do I even begin when talking about 2013. What a year this has been. From the beginning of the year, I knew this was going to be a HUGE year of change, and man oh man has it been. It's crazy how much has gone on in this year. The good, the bad & the ugly. I've been excited to write this post from January because I just knew a lot would go on this year, and now that it's come to a close, I'm just stoked to say, goodbye 2013 & here's to 2014!

WARNING: This post will be long and nostalgic so, proceed with caution... & chocolate.


At the top of the year I started my YOUTUBE channel, and posted THIS first video. When I started I expected a decent 3 subscribers & a whopping ten views & I achieved them! LOL. It's been such an awesome adventure and I'm really happy for the people that have taken time out of their life to pay attention to my videos. Thanks to the help of Shanna Malcolm, another Jamaican youtuber. Also, I'm so happy for the friends I've met this year. Lisa, Abby, Ana, Jill, Ruxandra (one of my first subscribers). Also my friends Domo, Chan and Kyra who joined me in videos such as California Girls by Katy Perry, Help Save South America & the Jellybean challenge video .

Before all this, what many of you might not know I was still (somewhat) on the internet, self-publishing some pieces I've written. If you check the tab on this blog Writings you'll see them. A huge accomplishment for me this year, was not only writing & publishing two pieces but achieving the goal of hitting 100 downloads on the story I published called Jesse Ellsworth, which is still available to download. :) (and it one download away from 200 downloads!)

During this, I also met another great author Kate Frost, who I interviewed HERE on this blog, and she interviewed me HERE on hers.


I was also published in a magazine for the first time this year. (Verve girl Magazine)

Later that year, I FINALLY graduated high school & went to my senior prom which you can read all about in THIS post.


Then, I started this blog. I've loved having this internet space to write and reflect and share my photography. It's been awesome talking to people, and meeting people & reading the lovely comments you all leave.

THEN, BAM BAM TURKEY & HAM I moved to university. I showed you all around my new town HERE and my room HERE .

It certainly has been an experience, and it has allowed me a bit of freedom, and to take a trip to Quebec with my friends which I wrote about HERE.

More recently I've also started interning for Boreddaddy.com . Feel free to go over there, and check out the site! I'm enjoying getting to put content on that website too.

Now, despite how things may look, 2013 wasn't a perfect year for me. I've just made a conscious decision to try & not reflect on those things because.. what's the point? They've happened & there isn't a thing I can do about them. They've changed my perspective on certain people, but in the end they've helped me grow. I'm a different, smarter person than I was at the beginning of the year, and I'm excited to learn new things.
I didn't achieve all my resolutions and didn't accomplish everything I set out to, but that's okay. I've got 2014, right? :)

I'm also excited for all the new things I'll do in 2014, and hopefully things I can improve on with myself. I plan to publish more of my work, that hopefully you all will be open to downloading and working on this blog, myself, my content and school. 2013 I laid a lot of foundation that I'd like to start building on in 2014. Seems like a decent resolution right?

Anyways, thank you all for reading & coming on 1/2 of my 2013 journey with me. I can't wait to show you what's in store for 2014 and all that. Have a blessed new years, and a prosperous 2014!

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x Leah Symonne x

Saturday, 28 December 2013

I'm 18.







I AM 18. OMG. I'M LEGAL. IM ADULT. I CAN VOTE. SOMEBODY HOLD ME. YAY FOR BIRTHDAYS.

So, I've FINALLY turned 18. For so long this age seemed like such a distant worry. I almost thought being "legal" was a myth, but here I am. 2013 has been good to me, and it feels awesome to close it the way I am. I'm legal.

I had a lovely dinner with my "day one" friends, and family and had cheesecake instead of  birthday cake, because cheesecake is heaven.
Tonight was one of those nights that had me reflecting again on life. It's crazy to be legal, and be 18 but tonight also made me hugely grateful for the people in my life. We have had our ups and down but these people have been by my side now for more than a decade. That's insane, and it's amazing they've put up with me this long. Even through moving away for school, and everything.

I especially got emotional and teary when my friend made me this montage of us for my birthday, which means more to me than anything she could've bought.


Anyways, to sum up my cheeseball of a reflective soppy post I'm finally 18, and had a pretty amazing night. I'm just feeling very grateful, but I guess that's what this season does.

So for anyone reading this who may be feeling down, just take a moment and reflect on what's good in your life and I'm sure you'll feel a lot better. Remember someone loves you, someone cares, and you're very important to this world. (& me, but I don't wanna be creepy.)

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x leah symonne x

Thursday, 26 December 2013

It's been a Merry Christmas






And now it's time for a jolly boxing day!

So yeah I know I made THIS post about it "feeling like Christmas" but now I'm back home in Jamaica, so I guess..what does Christmas really feel like? Not snow, and cold weather, but relaxing family & friend time. Because I'm no longer at school up in Canada, where I took those I'm now in the warm tropics I call home enjoying being able to wear my tank tops in the "winter".

So Christmas Day was yesterday, and I can honestly say I've enjoyed it. It was such a chilled day, and I got to eat and drink half my body weight.
By the way, what I'm drinking is a Jamaican Christmas drink called Sorrel, not red wine, or anything remotely fancy & red. As I am not fancy...or red.
I went a little snap happy, and took lots of pictures of myself & my family (who are sadly weary about making a feature on my blog, so you won't be meeting them right now).

I just love the whole vibe of Christmas. It's like for a whole day the world just stops. There is such a stillness in the air. Life is normally so busy and streets are so loud, but on Christmas it feels like everyone's just pressed pause on life for a bit. Especially since the lead up to Christmas is even more manic than any other time of the year.

Please tell me all about your Christmas, or if you don't celebrate it how your <insert other holidays around this time here> went, or just generally how your December 25th was.

Now, tomorrow the 27th is my birthday.  I turn 18. Yes, I become legal. Right when Justin Bieber retires, dammit.

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x leah symonne x

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

"Giving Up"



The term giving up has always been really confusing to me. Is it a good or bad thing? Because surely if someone is doing something they don't like & take the initiative to stop doing that thing...that's good. But others might say they've "given up". Okay, well I'm here to challenge the thinking that giving up is a bad thing. To be honest, I think giving up on some things could be the best decisions some people make.

(This is not to say you should just quit everything you don't like & do nothing. I'm saying if you can foresee a different future on a different path, with different opportunities, take it. Giving up on the old, hopeless, sad routine is good.)

I'm in university now, first year, first semester trying to figure out what to do. I don't believe university is about knowing, but discovering. I've been contemplating changing my major for a while now & one of my friends said, "You're just giving up though. You should stick it out."
Why is it "giving up" if I'm stopping something I don't enjoy & doing something else. If that's what it means to give up, then I'm going to say it's not a bad thing.

I think we as humans are more in tune with the things we don't like than the things we do. We are 100% sure we don't like the things we don't, but we're not completely sure of the things we do. Therefore, if I'm sure I don't like something & I've given up on it to pursue other things I think that's good. It's easier to not give up, and not think hard about what you really want to do. Giving up on things is a leap. It isn't easy jumping from one degree to another, or quitting the job you hate to move to another. Hell, quitting is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. It's brave. I'm challenging the thinking. Giving up requires a ton of freaking bravery.

Maybe I've got it all wrong, please leave your opinions down in the comments. See you very soon!

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x Leah Symonne x


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Chin Up, Soldier- Anti-Bullying Week




So as it's coming to the close of Anti-Bullying week I couldn't let it pass by without saying something about the topic. I try to keep this internet space positive & tell people to think positively about themselves without thinking too much about what other people think about them.

Personally, I've always been acutely conscious of other people and what they say about me, and how they behave around me. But I realize now how little all the things that people said about me mattered. I think we automatically go towards hating bullies for what they do, and bullying them as well. But what I've come to learn with my experience with them is that they are probably the most broken of us all.

To all the people that have been bullied I'd like to say remember that you are important and that you matter. The things that feel like they are all consuming to you now will soon become minor issues. You will grow, you will mature and your situations will change.
And to the bullies out there, you're probably going through a lot, and brining others down for what you're feeling is a temporary high. Deal with your problems, and don't take them out on others. It isn't nearly as fulfilling as you're thinking it is.

To those who have been bullied just know that what other people say about you don't matter. Don't let anyone make you feel small. I struggled with understanding that I wasn't unimportant in this world and that no-one really cared. Someone does care. You do matter, and you matter a lot. We all matter. I came across the website You Matter a few months ago, and they work to tackle bullying, and send the message to young people that you do matter! You deserve to be here, and you're needed here.

Chin up, soldier. You will will through it.

Check out YouMatter.Us

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x Leah Symonne x

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Close your eyes and see the world..







Sit down by the river and you will find that you're no bigger than what you are inside. Sit down by the river & you will find that you're no bigger than the birds that fly. 

Recently I've been thinking not only about how pretty the world is when we really stop and appreciate it all but how wrong it is that we think we are all small parts of a big machine. We are all significant pieces.
You hear people say all the time saying things like, "Life will be better once you realize no-one actually cares about you." or "You're just a minuscule part of a big universe."
And I think those things are just so false.
We aren't physically large in this universe, but our presence means something & something big. Rather than believing we're insignificant and a part of nothing, I believe we are all very important and part of everything. We are no bigger and better than anything or anyone, but rather a part of everything.

The sun does burn, and the sea is cold but we're all in the same growing boat. - Sam Garrett. 

(Also thank you to Lisa for exposing me to the wonderfulness that is Sam Garret from her latest video, which I think you should all watch right HERE).

x Leah Symonne x

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

I just need a hug, to vent & a nap...




I sit here now staring at a blank white screen and a post that I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want with. Liberating and scary. I guess we'll see how this little spur of the moment turns out.
This blogging shtick gets to me sometimes, and not in a bad way. I enjoy it a great deal and really wish I could just it all day every single day & dedicate all my time to it. Sometimes I get nervous about what to post, and what not to as I've become well aware about what gets the most attention and what doesn't.  And I always want to make sure my posts bring something cool & original to the table & don't bore people. But today I just want to write. In my voice. That's what I do, right? I vent.
The wonderful Charly Cox, who I've once interviewed on this blog made this post yesterday, and it inspired me. Though this post won't be the same subject matter her openness & honesty is what's inspiring mine.

Sometimes I just want to take it back. Take back the pretty pictures. Take back the inspirational quotes & bring it to where it all started. When I just wrote and prayed that someone read. Before I came to this stage in my life, this stage in school, having to deal with and think about so much. Before a lot of things just changed. Before my thoughts became all-consuming.

Recently, I've just been feeling tired. I can't explain why. Tired of doing what I feel I have to do, rather than what I want to do. Tired of feeling like I'm being held back from things I want to do because of my age. Tired because I procrastinate so much I stay up way too late & wake up early. Tired of feeling like I'm not working to my full potential because I'm not doing what I love anymore. Tired of being forced to do things, and told to do things. Tired of getting to watch other people live out their dreams, while I wallow in mine and let them replay in my brian like an old worn record. Just, tired.
And quite frankly, I'm tired of thinking about all these things.

I just want to do, see and be. I want to get out and experience. It's very easy in life when getting wrapped up in work, to forget about play. To forget that you need something to look forward to. Some part of yourself to still hold on to, and believe in. I want to believe in myself again, and believe in what I can do. Believe I am strong enough and brave enough. Believe I'm worth all (& more than I want). I guess I just need to step back and look at the world as something else. Something where dreams live and flourish. Somewhere that allows people like me, to not feel like people like me. I want to see the world as the beautiful, hopeful, magical place I once believe so whole heartedly it was.

I guess I went off a bit there. Not really sure what I'm talking about, but I'm glad I spoke about it.

x Leah Symonne x



Sunday, 3 November 2013

Pretty sure I'm still that girl...



I thought for today post let's not change into nicer clothes, or do my hair up for the camera. Let's just be the first thing in the morning Leah in an old T-Shirt and a hoodie. That's not always the easiest thing to do for a lot of girls, but it was refreshing for me.

People like to give others a hard time for "changing". Why is that? Changing personalities or routines are always seemingly a bad thing...? Who would want to still be the person they were in 8th grade when they're 17? That seems ridiculous, doesn't it?
I wouldn't say I've changed a whole lot, and I'm still the same girl who'd much rather spend my day in old T-shirts & hoodies than nice dresses. I'm still the same girl who likes to watch Spongebob on a Saturday morning with cereal. I'm still the same girl who giggles at stupid jokes. But, I still appreciate the fact that I am not completely the same. And, I'm happy about that. I wouldn't want to be the same girl I was 10 years ago. I cringe at the thought if I'm honest.
(Slowly trying to forget the person I was...3 weeks ago much less 10 years ago. So many bad outfit decisions...so little time). 

If people are giving you a hard time about "changing" then tell them a F off. Be proud of it. Say, "Yeah I've changed and I'm freaking happy I did." Change is what life's about. Staying stagnated and not growing up, developing and trying new things should never be your goal. Change is good, and change should be encouraged. In someway or another all change is for the best. Even if we didn't make the best decisions leading up to that change, we learned something, which helped us on our path of changing in the right way.

Quite frankly, if you look back on your life and can't see any change or progression...something ought to change...

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x Leah Symonne x

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

You make me smile, even just for a while..










So I guess this post is as close as I'll ever get to a "favourites" post. It's just a couple things, moments & people that have made me smile over the last few bits of my life. 

First: Me and my sister having fun at the park. It was just a nice, fun, chilled day & we got to have fun at the park with a frisbee. Who doesn't love a good right of frisbee?

Second: My doggy. I just got him at the start of this year & he is literally my bundle of pride & joy. I miss him so much. I wish I could've just smuggled him off to school with me. :( 

Third: My toms. They have (no joke) become the only pair of shoes I swear. Despite the face that Toms donates a pair when I bought them, they are also the most comfortable shoes ever. I hope to have lots more adventures in those babies. 

Fourth: My beats! Again, these are a part of a charity. Product (RED) so money was donated to Aids in Africa when I bought them. They are great headphones, and since music is my hobby (I literally never watch TV) it's nice to have quality headphones in my favourite colours to keep me happy. 

Fifth: My little sister's guinea pig. I have such a soft spot for animals. Especially rodents and dogs. I've had pet rabbits in the past & just love them. Her hair is so soft, and she's just the sweetest little piggy in the world. 

And last but not least my camera. This has undoubtedly been one of the best gifts I've gotten. Ever. Without it, to be perfectly honest I don't think this blog or my Youtube Channel would exist. Having this blog & my youtube has changed my life in so many ways, and made my life so much more fun that now I can't imagine not having this little internet space, my Youtube & all you lovely people who read & comment in my life. 

It's been a journey & I'm so excited to keep on sharing it with you all! Thank you loads & see you soon!

Do you have any favourites or just a collection of things that make you happy? Let me know! 


x Leah Symonne x 




Tuesday, 22 October 2013

You betta work if you want it




I've lately been up to eyeballs in work, and assignments. Honestly, I feel like it's NEVER ENDING. I want to spend all my time watching youtube videos, making youtube videos & blogging. Is that too much to ask?
Mind you, despite having tons of work to do, I am still finding time to blog. Call me Overlord Procrastination. I've legitimately made an art out of not getting anything done.
Aside from this, I've also just had a lot on my mind. Trying to sort a lot of things out at one time,  & just feeling stressed. However, I'm excited about next week as I will be off school for the week with significantly less to do & I can bombard you all with my ramblings.

To get my mind off things I usually watch Youtube videos. Recently I came across these lovely people known as CTFXC  & have just fallen head over heels in love with them. It's amazing watching their journey as a couple & if you're looking for a new channel to subscribe to, they are absolutely the place to go. You will love them! You'll laugh & cry as you watch them conquer cancer & brain tumours & just be awesome people.
So, as you can probably see this post didn't have a specific theme, just wanted to get some stuff off my mind, tell you all about some things I've been thinking, and who I've been watching. My word of advice for today that I think pretty well sums up this post is don't give up.

If you have lots of work don't give up on it, get it done. If you want something, do your very best to get it.

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x Leah Symonne x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Just hold on, we're going home...





Do we really want all those things in life we tell ourselves we want? 

I've recently been thinking about this a lot. Throughout my life, it's fair to say I've done a decent amount of travelling. I've lived in about 3 different counties, gone to only God knows how many different schools. Every summer I left to spend time with family in another country. I've always wished for a more stable life, to be able to stay one place for an extended amount of time so I can feel like I live & belong in that place/country/town. 

But in that same breath, every break from school I get I plan a trip. One a weekend I go to Quebec, next weekend I leave again to spend time in Toronto with family. The following weekend for reading week, I plan to leave again. Christmas I go back to Jamaica, and I'm trying to even co-ordinate a trip to do over my Spring Break with the infamous Domo & something over the summer with Lisa. If stability is all I've wanted for so long, why am I still doing so much all-over-the-place living? I now have the opportunity to just STAY PUT & I'm still not doing that. 

I think it's natural for us to do what's comfortable. The idea of staying at school over a break & not leaving...actually makes me quite uncomfortable & nervous. Making me think that maybe stability & staying one place for an extended amount of time really isn't what I want. I don't want to feel stagnated at any point in time. Having something to look forward to, and continuing to swim is what makes my life worth living. Whenever I've stayed one place for too long, I've gotten quite down & depressed about it. 
I still believe stability is a major part of a persons life & necessary...but I'm beginning to think it's simply not a feasible thing for me to do anymore.

I'm too used to moving. It's comfortable. It's familiar. 

I'm curious what cities/countries are you all from? Let me know! 


x Leah Symonne x

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

These are the days we make memories..









Hello all!
This weekend my friends & I went on an adventure to Quebec. It was spur of the moment, really. We booked a motel over there, which only cost us about $35 a night per person.
It was amazing fun. Really nice to leave school for a bit, sleep somewhere different (though kind of sketchy because hey...it was $35 a night) and just adventure a bit. One of the things on my bucket list for 2013 was go somewhere I've never been before & I've accomplished that! Before now I'd never been to Quebec, and it truly is a beautiful place. Some of these pictures were taken on my phone, and you can see a few more on my Instagram.
Picking which pictures to include in this post was so hard! I took almost 100, so picking less than 10, was quite the task. 
We found a cute diner, we rode in an aqua taxi, walked to the motel (about an hour and half) as well to save on bus fare which is $3.75 in Quebec! 
Honestly, it was an amazing walk though, we saw so much of the town, found parks and had great fun that we definitely wouldn't have had on a bus, or in a cab. Most of the pictures I got were taken on that walk. We only went for the weekend & Sunday was quite rainy, cold & miserable, so we didn't get too much adventure in that day. 
When you're a broke university student hungry for adventures, you've got to make due.

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x Leah Symonne x


Friday, 27 September 2013

I can still make explosions




I swear I'm not a fire setter, or an arson, that's not what this post is about. I repeat: I do not set things on fire for pleasure.

Recently I've been so inspired by people my age. It's amazing to me how looked down upon teenagers are, when I'm pretty sure the people who are making the most positive impact these days are people in the demographic 18-24. Also, a lot of people my age have just been taking the reigns on their life & doing what they feel & not what they're told to do. Travelling, and becoming the people they want to which I just find so inspiring! The bravery of my generation is just amazing.

-For example, the two young men who run the Jacksgap youtube channel recently raised over 100k for Teenage Cancer Trust. (How amazing is that?!)
It's always been a dream of mine to be able to volunteer in another country, and help people.

This year my friend, Domo & I were trying to go to Costa Rica to do a volunteer experience but sadly were not able to raise all the funds in time. We'd really still love to go one day though, so hopefully next year it will happen! And I'll get to cross other things off my bucket list as well.
So yeah, I've just been feeling really happy for my demographic getting some positive press for once, and inspired. It's a reminder that I, too, can still make explosions.

And remember that you can as well! You never need a reason to help others. :)
Do you have any causes you're passionate about? I'd love to know about them and why.

Thank you for all your sweet comments, and all the lovely responses you leave! They're a pleasure to read & truly do make me smile. :)

(BTW I've been sick for the pass couple days & I still feel horrendous. Feel free to feel sorry for me. Thanks)

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x Leah Symonne x

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

It starts at my toes, makes me crinkle my nose





You know I've just been thinking lately about how important love is. How important it is to not only love yourself, but believe in yourself. Believe in your abilities & talents. Back in school I remember being taught about all the different types of love and all that, but that kind of took away from what love really is in my opinion. Loving others, loving ourselves, loving the things around us.  If you're feeling down & out lately remember that before others will love you you need to love yourself. Nothing bad lasts forever. Things get better, life continues to move forward and you've got to be a trooper and move on with it. 
You're going to do big things. It's okay to be afraid, and scared sometimes but you'll get out of it. One day your bravery's going to shock you. 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously giveother people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.


- Marianne Williamson 


x Leah Symonne x 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Let's take a tour of my town

I've showed you all around my room & thought it'd be cool to show some pretty pictures around where I now live as well. I could totally see myself staying here in the future, it is such a beautiful town. It's so quaint & cute & just makes me very happy.







Isn't this place just a beaut? So I go to university now up in Canada (eh) [no the majority of Canadians don't actually use eh] & I love, love, love it. :)
If any of you have done posts like this recently, let me know! I'd love to see them!

And on a more somber note:
I'd just like to take a moment to talk about a crash that happened in Ottawa, Canada two days ago. A bus collided with a Via Rail train, killing 6 people. You can see the story here, because I'm not really keen on recapping the entire thing. Two students from my school were killed in the crash, and I'd just like to say on the off chance anyone affected reads this, I am so, so, so very sorry for your loss. It really was tragic, and it's hard seeing pictures & listening to the news, and neither me nor anyone I know was involved. It's a difficult thing to think about. Stay strong.

And to all those in any other part of the world that experience things like this EVERYDAY with no international attention, stay strong as well.

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x Leah Symonne x