Being Assertive

Enlightenment in nature

My confidence in socialising is growing. I’m also getting a knack with dealing with situations appropriately. If someone makes a rude quip I always tend to ignore it. Sure, I may get irritated for those next five minutes but I always manage to hold my tongue. However, what can be a challenge or what was a challenge is not getting on the bad side of others.

I was timid when I was at school and college. I was often afraid of disappointing or upsetting someone. If someone flirted with me, I’d let them even though sometimes I felt uncomfortable. If someone asked me to vacate my chair, I would. And if someone gave me a pound and asked me to do them a favour and get a snack for them, I would. I never did this to be popular, I did this so I didn’t disappoint. I built myself a reputation of making people happy, I felt like I had to do these things.

Throughout the years I did learn to be assertive and say ‘no.’ One time at college a drunken man stopped me during my walk and asked if I could give him a pound so he could buy a pint. I said, ‘no’ and walked on. The dude and his friend cursed after me as I walked on… I felt rather shaken after this. It’s not often that I said no but everyone I talked to said that I did the right thing. I felt better after this.

My confidence in saying ‘no’ did boost and made me feel empowered.^^/

I learnt that you don’t have to make others happy by humiliating or degrading yourself. That’s not what it means to make others happy. Making others happy means being nice to them and cheering them up if they need perking up. Those who force you to do things or pass judgement on you are not worth your time or energy. If they disapprove of you not wanting to do what they ask, that’s their problem.

I joined Instagram as one of my favourite past times is photography. This provides me with the opportunity to show everyone how I view world and things that make me happy. From time to time I get the odd user that would ask “follow 4 follow?” I.E., if you follow me on Instagram then I’ll follow you back. I’m flattered that someone would take their time to write a message on one of my photos. However, I have no interest in gaining followers just for the sake of it.

5 years ago I would have given into pressure and followed the user, anxious that he/she may disapprove if I didn’t comply. Now, however, I have no such worries. The only people that I’m following are those who I know in real life and those who are my real life friends. I do follow Charlton Athletic’s official Instagram page but they are a special exception. ^^/ If someone I don’t know wants to follow me, that’s no problem, but I don’t have any intention of following someone who I don’t know. It’s nothing personal; it’s just how I feel. That and it was never my intention of getting the most followers or being the most popular. My intention was to show the photos that I’m proud to show to the world. =)

Of course I still want to make others happy, it’s who I am. But, you shouldn’t have to degrade yourself in order to make others happy. If they have a low opinion of you or disapprove of you standing your ground, that’s their issue, not yours. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

I’m having a good day today. I watched some Football and the High School DxD Blu-Ray (stay tuned for a future anime review). I also heard that Monster Musume has topped the New York Times charts once again. Go MonMusu! =D

I anticipated that my next blog would be about anime, but I felt like writing this blog on the spur of the moment.

26 days and Christmas is here. =)

Thanks for reading.^^/

Hohoho,

Ryan.

London Trip Part Three: The Final Fantasy Concert

Distant Worlds logo

  1. Fun Fact

Believe it or not I actually had the opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago. There is this talented group called WatchThisSpace, ages 14-21, and they do a lot experiment with dance movements. They were going to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010 and they held auditions to be part of that group.

A friend at Uni suggested that I should audition since I’m quite dandy with my Ballroom. I declined, for many reasons. Why? That’s for another blog. 😉

  1. Distant Worlds music from Final Fantasy Mini Ramble

This was such a surreal experience.

I had a rough idea of what the Royal Albert Hall would be like, but I never appreciated how big it truly is until I went inside… it’s seriously massive. I actually think it’s bigger than my local arena. I was sitting on the top tier, right near the fire exit. It’s no secret that I get apprehensive in massive crowds, but I felt reassured that I was near the fire exit. If it got too much for me I would just dart off.

Before the start of the performance a kind looking gentleman took to the stage and bowed. The crowd literally erupted in a chorus of cheers. I thought to myself, “He must be important.” But then Mr Conductor, Arnie Roth, announced that that man was actually Nobuo Uematsu. He has composed 90% of the songs from the Final Fantasy games. And, apparently, it’s rare for him to make an appearance but being in the Royal Albert Hall was a must for him. Can’t say that I blame him, it is a beautiful building. =)

  1. Distant Worlds music from Final Fantasy Mini-Review

What I liked especially about this concert was how Mr Conductor rambled briefly about each song and shared with us the facts about his orchestra. This was their 98th tour and 3rd in the Royal Albert Hall. He was a friendly man. He was the sort of dude that commanded respect without even trying. I’d love to have a drink of J2O with him one day. =) I believe the 99th tour will be somewhere in Europe.

I liked the fact as well that the Royal Albert Hall has the second largest organ in Europe… I can see why. The building was tall, but the organ pipes were massive. They were even taller than the top tier seats. The building was big but the organ pipes literally vibrated the entire arena.

They premiered quite a few songs that night. Two of them were based on the Final Fantasy 9 game. I liked all the instrumental music that was played that evening but I think the most significant instrument was the organ. Mr French came on (I didn’t catch his name) and played the guitar. He was good. Then Mrs Kelly came on (I didn’t catch her name) and sang a beautiful ballad for the Final Fantasy 14 online music.

I can’t really say I had any particular standout favourites since they were all as equally as good, but, I did appreciate certain songs that I’m more familiar with. Like the theme songs from Final Fantasy 7 and 9, especially the Rose of May. The Chocobo song at the end was a nice touch. =)

It was good as well that they had a screen. Whilst listening to the music we could watch the video that was being played that went with it. FF6 looks like it’s a humorous game, judging by what I saw. However, I did get confused when that joker clown like character fought against the pretty brunette lady and won. It looked as though the villain beat the hero… I think? I think it’s on that PSP Vita. I still enjoyed watching the screen though. I think it’s good that the orchestra made that available for us, the audience. =)

The most significant moment, without a shadow of a doubt, is Nobuo. I read in the programme that the man himself hoped to perform live on stage at some point. And… he did just that. Apparently, Arnie suggested that idea to Nobuo and he said that he will play the keyboard if Arnie plays the violin. And Mr Conductor played the violin. Hoho.

That was the first ever time that Nobuo Uematsu has performed on stage, and I was there to see it. It truly was a memorable moment. 🙂

*

It was good experience. I did cringe and clench my teeth a lot when the audience clapped, cheered, stood up and erupted. I was able to enjoy the orchestra just about enough since some of the instruments were soothing and they were playing the songs that I liked.

But, I didn’t like the huge noise from the crowd. It made my head swirl and chest feel unpleasant. On two occasions I had to go out to get away from the crowd, and when I thought rationally enough I went back in. I actually missed the start of the second half of the performance. I did feel worse after that. The duration of the performance was nearing three hours and near the end I actually wanted it to finish so I could go back to the hotel.

I did enjoy the orchestra. For some reason there seems to be a difference to listening to the music rather than listening to someone sing. In a way, this was the best way for me to debut a concert. Haha. It was good experience. In truth I would say that my brother appreciated the overall experience a lot more than me. He is a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series. =)

If I were to rate this, I would say…

Two Thumb’s-Up. (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

  1. Overnight

I went back to the hotel asap with my brother, had a nice long shower and watched Match of the Day in my room. I put on BBC1 before I left for the concert. With assistance from my Brother I managed to work the TV. That way, when I came back I could watch the TV from the get go to be organised. I think that was quite wise on my part, if I do say so myself. =)

*

I cut down on my football time since I tried to get some sleep…

I was tired but my body didn’t really want me to sleep. My body became aware that this wasn’t my room and I wasn’t sleeping on my bed. The cushions were comfy though. Since I couldn’t really sleep I decided to read some manga. I read Monster Musume, D-Frag and See Me After Class. I even listened to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack on my ipod.

I felt very relaxed. This was the only time I could relax on this trip. Being organised in London was certainly exhausting and then I had to try and force myself to sleep. After relaxing, I gradually fell asleep. I didn’t get much sleep though.

I woke up very early. We set contingency plans to ensure that me and my brother get up at 8. I woke up at 7 O’clock. Before getting ready I decided to have a bru. I put on the kettle… I suddenly remembered that the plug didn’t work so I went to press the button to stop when I actually burned my finger. XD It was morning and I had long forgotten that the kettle was not working properly. Haha. Wait, that’s not funny… anyway, I spent five minutes running my burned finger under the cold tap…

*

We got the train, first class, and went home. I thought a couple kept on looking at me and they would often turn away if they caught my eye. I kept on building myself up to smile every single time we catch eye contact, alas… it never happened. Not to worry though.

I came home, and spent literally the entire day just chilling on the couch without saying a word. I didn’t want to talk. I was just extremely pleased that things were back to normal. It took a while for me to sink in the information though…

  1. Overall Experience

It was good. It was most definitely one of my most significant moments. Going and sleeping London felt so far way, yet, it was here and gone. It really is amazing how time flies, especially when you’re having fun. =)

Pre-anxiety always dominates my mind whenever I’m going into the unknown. Sometimes I will deal with my state of mind just fine, other times, it becomes hard to endure. I just have to go with my gut instinct.

London wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was quite the opposite, in fact. I felt constantly safe, a little iffy around the roads, but I was able to retire to my room for peace and quiet from time to time. And because I was constantly busy, I wasn’t as anxious. I distracted myself and times. It felt like I got used to my room quickly, and for a brief moment I thought I was playing the role of Alan Partridge. XD

A friend summed it up perfectly. “Focus on the parts you enjoyed about London, instead of remembering how you felt.” I knew this philosophy but he’s absolutely bob on with his words. =) And it’s the thing of, just because I feel sick, apprehensive, dizzy and so on, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t take away the positives from this journey. Or anything really that is outside my comfort zone. I went to London to enjoy myself, not to pay attention to my nerves. =) It was a struggle at times but I coped and I was never in danger of losing my mind. Haha.

With that in mind, it actually made me appreciate my own life even more.

I have the luxury of a house, my own room, a space to play games, hang out with people, watch movies, write stories, watch anime, watch Thomas, read manga, and all sorts. I didn’t have that much freedom when I was away but I have the freedom at home. I already knew this, of course, but it still makes me appreciate my life even more, and I will continue to cherish it. =)

*

The biggest question remains… will I do this again?

Well… I’m split. Before this trip I might have said “I will never 100% do this again.” But now I have experienced it… I can safely say that I will not rule out this kind of outing again. On the other hand though, I’m not in a rush to do this again. I mean, I’m in no rush to go to London any time soon. If the concert was to be played in the nearest area then I think there’s a strong possibility that I would go again. It all depends how I feel at that time though. =)

It’s just as I mentioned in the wedding blog many months ago. Just because I did something once, doesn’t mean I would find it easy to do it again. It just means that I’m more capable then I thought myself to be. It’s all about endurance and concentrating on the positives. So far, I’m doing myself proud.^^/

THANKS FOR READING

That’s it for my London blogs. I wonder what’s in store for me next.

Nearly one year ago, 16th November, I opened up a WordPress blog account. I plan to post a blog on that very day to summarise my year of blogging. I hope you will drop by and have a read. =)

See you all for now.

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.

London Trip Part Two: The London Experience

Royal Albert Hall

  1. Arriving at London Euston

At this point we have arrived in the heart of London, more specifically, London Euston Train Station. Strangely, I keep on pronouncing it as Houston, but that’s irrelevant!

Ahem-

I took a quick glance around. I didn’t feel strange at first, it felt like any other ordinary train station. I would say that it’s just about the same size as any other major city station. =) We were in a rush too so we had no time to enjoy the sights of the station.

*

Next moment, we got into the black cab! That was the first ever time that I had been inside the black taxi cab. I’m a bit iffy with taxis nowadays due to my experience with taxis from when I attended College and University, that’s another story though! I was more excited than nervous. Perhaps it’s because the Black cabs are quite famous in London, and I was with my brother.

The gentleman driver knew where he was going but there was one moment where my heart skipped a beat. He pulled by the lights and from my point of view it looked as though we were going to crash besides this huge lorry! Turns out, he was just pulling up beside it. Me and my brother exchanged grimaces of relief!

We took another route because there was a vintage car real show in the park. =)

Through all those lovely detours we have finally arrived at the Queen’s Gate Hotel.^^/

  1. The Queen’s Gate Hotel

The first thing I thought, when I looked up is “wow, I gotta take a picture of this!” and so I did, and it was magical. =)

I felt really important when we went into the reception. I especially felt an important guest when we were given swipe cards. I was a little mean to my brother at this point… I made him take the stairs all the way up to the fourth floor. Haha. When we reached there we had a problem… how do we get in? We tried to swipe it horizontally, vertically and tried to place it as if there was a hole there… turns out, all I needed to do was place the card over this fancy switch and the door opened!

We got in. The room was small but cosy. We had problems working the kettle though. Then… well. I decided at that moment, after putting my card in the card holder, that I should take a picture of my door for Nan. So I walked out, closed the door and took a picture. When all was said and done, I put my phone away and tried to open the door… I was locked outside! My brother, Mum, my sister, everyone warned me that whatever I do, I should not leave my room without my card. I did that without even trying. Luckily my brother was in the room so all I had to do was knock on the door and my brother opened it. Haha. It wasn’t even his room. XD

My bed was ok and the shower and bathroom was in mint condition. As long as the shower was super hygienic then I am happy. =) I couldn’t really get all that comfortable on the bed, I wasn’t used to sleeping on someone else’s bed. I had a quick cup of tea before we left to go for a walk at the Kensington Gardens. There wasn’t much time to relax just yet as we wanted to have a quick stroll in the park.

  1. Kensington Gardens

Before we took a stroll in the park we decided to have a dummy run to the Royal Albert Hall.

I did this whilst watching out for the busy roads. I’m especially nervous around roads. Pre-university I’d often go into my own little world and not really pay attention to my surroundings. I used to be very embarrassed to admit this so I never explained why I lacked concentration when walking along the roads. Nowadays, I’m very aware of my sense of self. So, I can control my own thoughts, especially around busy roads. I’m still not as confident though, I will only cross roads when I feel secure over the fact that the roads are absolutely clear. I don’t care even if I have to wait ten minutes, it’s better to be a bit late and stay safe. ^^/

The Royal Albert Hall is literally a five minute walk from where the hotel was, perhaps even shorter. It was simply a majestic sight to behold. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s hard to put it into words. Opposite this building is the Royal College of Music. That was a nice building too. You could literally hear the pianos playing from where we were. On the other side of the Royal Albert Hall was the Royal College of Art, another nice building. =)

*

On the way to the park we got ourselves Ice Cream. Since this was a monumental occasion I chose to get a triple whippy into a double whippy comb… It was extremely delicious, but, I kept on dripping it on the floor. 😦 I said that it was worth every penny, until my brother reminded me of the fact that it was actually him who treated us both to the ice cream… so, it was worth all the pennies he spent on it. 😉

However, I dropped bits of ice cream onto my shirt. I wouldn’t mind if it was any ordinary shirt, but, I bought this shirt specifically to debut in London. And, I somewhat made a mess of it. Haha!

*

Walking in that park was simply lovely. There were loads of people though, and as more people came near me, I kept on taking shots of the sceneries. I got a few nice shots too, especially of the sky and water. =)

Strangely though, what I liked more about the park were the colourful people that were in it. It made me feel like that it was a waste of time feeling anxious around other people. I saw all sorts of eccentric activities the people were doing, I saw one or two doing yoga. I was happy because everyone was doing all sort of eccentric stuff, but, no one was judging anyone. They were just getting on with their own stuff. It made me feel like I could blend in and be myself with ease, without feeling judged.

My philosophy is ‘eccentric is the new normality’ haha. =D

  1. Realisation

Something occurred to me whilst I was snapping photos. I do genuinely love taking photos, but yet, I always find that I’m taking more then I need to. Why is that? I think I found my answer after I got back to the hotel. I take photos to distract myself from the situation.

To me, this makes a lot of sense. I’m always nervous when I’m out and about, especially when I’m venturing into the unknown. Sometimes to escape my nerves and socialising with new people I would often pick things out that I think would make a nice photo, and take a few pictures of it. It was exactly like that when I went to my sister’s wedding. I told myself to restrain myself from photo taking… that did not happen at all. Partly, it was because I enjoyed taking pictures of the scenery and people, but it was also to distract myself from feeling anxious.

How I felt when taking photos in London was no different from when I was taking photos at my sister’s wedding.

I wouldn’t say that taking photos is necessarily a bad thing but I at least understand why I’m taking more than necessary. Am I going to resolve this? Do I need to resolve this? I’m not sure, but what I am sure is that I’ve learnt a lot about myself in this trip, and this is one of the platforms that I have learnt. =)

  1. Pre-Concert Preparations

I was apprehensive when I got off the station, into the hotel, and walking through the park. But… I felt incredibly ill as soon as I went back to my room.

I don’t know what suddenly came to me. I propose that since I was constantly busy I was somewhat distracted by my anxiety. However, since I was back at the hotel, I had some peace and quiet. That was then when I started to feel ill. I became aware that I was in London, and that everything was out of routine. At that time I opted to listen to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack. Then, it was time to go and grab some tea lunch at the Royal Albert Hall…

*

Whilst feeling nauseous, apprehensive and a little jaded, I went and had a Panini and hot chocolate.

To my surprise, me and my brother saw a lot of people dress in cosplay from characters from the Final Fantasy series! I was led to believe that we had to dress smart casual. Who would have thought? I was happy that everyone was in a good, positive mood but, it was getting a little bit too much for me. It was a small room just inside the Royal Albert Hall, so, I needed to go out into the open space to avoid the huge crowd. Believe me, it was super tight. I felt more ill after that.

I bought the concert programme and took it back to the hotel before the start of the concert…

*

In Part Three I’m going to talk about the concert, my night in the hotel and my journey home.

Thanks for Reading,

Stay tuned.^^/

Ryan.

Insecurities

Happy

Autumn Tidings!^^/

 

  1. Insecurities

Some of us have personal insecurities that others know nothing about, some more than others. Insecurities tend to arise through lack of confidence or through a bad experience. For me, I suffered with insecurities when I was younger.

My past insecurities were centred on Autism and to some degree I still have these insecurities. I never really communicated with anyone or spoke with anyone until I was about ten years old. I felt comfortable enough to try and speak but I never felt comfortable in social situations. I started to grow my own personality and sense of self when at home. But, for many years, especially in my college years, I left my personality, quirks and everything I represent at home. When I walked out of the front door, I felt very insecure and anxious.

I was fairly ok at my school. I attended there for 13 years and I grew accustom to it. It was quite a culture shock when I left school and attended college on a full time basis. Back at that SEN school there was an average of 30 students per year. In my last year, there were even less than that. Suddenly, I went to a facility from 30 students to 30,000 students… quite a significant difference, especially for someone like me.

I can’t express how quiet I was, I severely lacked confidence. For many college years I was very quiet and subdued as I was overwhelmed by the amount of people, big place and different atmosphere. Back at my old school I was somewhat confident and could somewhat be myself. In my college days I completely held my personality back, leaving it all at home.

I didn’t know how to represent myself to everyone else. I was often judged for being quirky during various activities during school and outside of school. So, I figured the same thing would happen in my college years. So, to avoid being judged, I kept quiet. If I didn’t do anything bad or say anything memorable then I won’t develop an unnecessary reputation or leave an impression. Because of my conflicting thoughts I never truly enjoyed my college years and at times felt lonely. I felt lonely in other social situations too. All because I was scared of others judging me for being the way I am.

I often mention in my blogs that Autism is the root of my insecurities and it still plays a part today. Back in my younger years I felt very vulnerable and hopeless. I’m happy talking to other people like me, but, if I go to an Autistic environment I get a rush of anxiety. I don’t hate myself for being Autistic, far from it, it’s just that when I go to an Autistic environment my body and subconscious remembers what I was like back then. In those situations I remember feeling vulnerable, feeling worthless and feeling as though I have no voice or a right to make my own decision. It’s unfortunate that I have these insecurities, but, they’re not as bad as they were in the past. It’s just an intermittent occurrence.^^

 

  1. Body Image

Body image has never really been an issue for me. When I was younger I started to grow hairy legs. Every time I did P.E. all the girls would laugh at them. As I result I became embarrassed and self-conscious. It was only until I got to college that I realised that having hairy legs is not uncommon for a man, so, accepting that part of me was not a problem. One of the children I once knew used to call me a monkey as a result of having hairy legs… that was funny and I had no problem accepting that whimsical nickname. XD

I would say that I’m more health conscious rather than looks/weight conscious. All food is healthy if you eat it in a balanced manner. I actually go out of my own way to ensure that I have chocolate and biscuits at least two or three times a week… life is good. =D

 

  1. The Way I am

My issue is all about me expressing myself and being myself in social situations. It’s only these last couple of years that I could leave the house without leaving my sense of self behind. I’m in a really good frame of mind and in good health. I like the way I look as well, if I wasn’t happy with how I look, then, I would have overhauled my entire appearance. Haha.

I feel that my life is the work of fate. There’s a reason why I grew up this way. There’s a reason why I look the way I do. There’s a reason why I experienced what I have experienced. And there must be a reason as to why I was born Autistic… I feel quite special (no reference intended) for being the way I am. I feel like being Autistic was thrust upon me since birth, just like how a title is thrust upon the future King or Queen of England. =)

 

  1. Parting Wisdom

In the last yoga session the yogi instructor finished the session with a wonderful valediction (yes, that is a word, I didn’t make it up…honest!). She said that we all have the capabilities of changing the world but we shouldn’t get caught up in the troubles of the world. Don’t let the world influence you, you influence the world! I rather like that sentiment and I will try and steal those words and say them to someone. Muahahaha.

 

THANKS FOR READING

Well, that was fun. Oh, by the way, I watched classic movies recently like High Society and Dances with Wolves, they’re fun to watch. I’m also spending the time re-watching Non Non Biyori and Locodol. I’m attempting small fanmade comics of them for my own use. I’m enjoying them very much. =D

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan