The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Three)

cropped-ryans-world-border-2.jpg

On this very day, at this very time, exactly four years ago, I self-starred in the auto-bio play “Ryan’s World.”

If you fancy reading the other parts, you can see the links underneath.^^/

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-one/ 

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-two/

  1. DECISION

Choosing the right songs and implementing them into the show was tricky. However, Mr P and Mum suggested certain songs for me to use.

For the intro, and the audience coming in and settle their bums to the floor, I opted to use Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful.” We all thought that this would be an ideal way to start the performance as that song is about individuality and self-confidence. For good measure I added a picture of me when I was 5 holding a Thomas the Tank Engine train. Whilst I was incredibly embarrassed I wanted to give everyone an idea what I looked like when I was young. That and I think it adds to the realism of the performance.

I was behind the stage of the intro and the first video scene. Nerves started to grow up inside me, but I felt myself getting into the moment of my youth. The first video scene is the doctor diagnosing my condition and explained to my Mum (the character) what to expect of me in the future. It would be highly unlikely that I would ever come out of my own bubble. Listening to this really helped me to get into the moment as it set as a reminder of what I was like when I was young.

  1. SCENES YOUNGER THAN TEN

I walked into the open space and parked myself on the outer edge of the gazebo. I used the gazebo for the purpose of holding up the screen which showed the videos. I was very conscious that I was going to knock the whole thing down so I took great care not to bump into it. Haha.

These few scenes were all about me when I was a toddler. The video showed scenes whilst I held up phrases on the cards to show what I was thinking at that time. I couldn’t explain myself at that time but I was aware what was happening. I held up a cue card that said “I know you’re talking about me, I’m not stupid.” I also held up a few sad faces to show the audience that I was feeling sad in certain moments.

On stage I kept my face and body language neutral to reinforce how I would have been feeling at the time. However, I did feel trickles of tears running down my face. “That’s not supposed to happen,” I thought. That was the first time ever that I genuinely cried during a performance. I cringed every time I heard myself scream or cry out. It felt like a stab in the heart. I wanted to hide my face behind the big cards as I didn’t really want the audience to see tears running down my face. Haha. I spontaneously took a few deep breaths to regain my composure.

I did receive a few laughs when I got kissed with a lipstick in the video and when I showed my sad face for the first time. I think everyone laughed at first probably because they thought the face was drawn in a funny way. I put up a smiling face when the lady at the school residential read me a Thomas story.

I think the audience were very touched by this. I even added the song “Thomas, You’re the Leader.” I felt this was very appropriate as I was trying to tell the audience that Thomas was my saviour in many unhappy moments.

Eventually, I went off stage, gearing myself up to reappear in a certain scene.

  1. SCENES OLDER THAN TEN

On the video it showed the actual footage of me being the mascot for Charlton Athletic when they played Bolton in 2000.

I came onto the stage feeling excited as I gained confidence and started to understand the surroundings outside my bubble.

I spoke only basic words at that time. In hindsight I wonder if I should have spoken in a monotone voice because I used to be expressionless with my words. However, in the live performance I was representing my thoughts. So I figured it would be appropriate to speak with emotion.

The most important scene involves the Football School. I was pretty nervous about this. It was important to get this right. We filmed the parts where all the lads were making fun of me and showed a huge lack of understanding. The coach was no different. I was too meek and polite to not stick up for myself as I didn’t want to “upset” anyone. It went to the point where I started to get changed in front of the other lads, something which I was very uncomfortable with.

On the video I actually did get changed but my back was to the audience so only my back was visible. Haha. That was another big moment as I don’t like getting changed in front of other people. I think if the scene wasn’t so serious the audience would have had a good chuckle at this.

The video was pretty emotional as I kept on making mistakes and kept on being the victim of “being different.” I tried to be strong and be tough but I kept on making mistakes, especially when I missed the penalty and ran the full length of the pitch to score an own goal… My spirit eventually wavered and I broke down in the middle of the pitch, all alone… On cue- Girls Aloud’s cover of “I’ll Stand by You,” plays as the video zooms out and fades.

This was definitely challenging to perform on film. I was caught up in the emotion of that part of my life. The Football scene and hanging out with “normal people” was the main reason why I started to become insecure about being Autistic. Was it ok to be different? I made my feelings known at that very moment how I felt about the world.

“I hate normal people. I hate special needs… and I hate myself.”

And it was at that very moment that I started to become insecure about myself. I had a long string that kept me from the audience. When my confidence grew, I’d pull the string back, allowing the audience nearer. If my confidence was knocked, I would push the string back and push the audience away. The strings were held up by three stools. When I said “I hate special needs…” I started to push the stools back.

However, I managed to compose myself enough not to charge into Mr Ian who was right behind the stool that I was pushing. This was quite reassuring as I’ve never felt this emotional during a performance. It showed me that even though I was in the zone I was still aware of my surroundings. That was quite a proud moment. =)

  1. INDIVIDUALITY

From that moment on I tried to fight for individuality and to be accepted for whom I was and I tried this tactic in different situations. I bought a Thomas DVD at school but my teacher disapproved as she thought that it was “too childish” and so she took it back. Why wasn’t I allowed to express the things I like? Why couldn’t I get the things I like? What was wrong with being myself?

  1. REACHING COLLEGE

I had the option of attending two different colleges. One was my local college and the other was the college that I eventually went to. I was very determined not to go to this certain college as I knew that I would have to start in the Supported Learning Department. I really, really didn’t want that to happen.

I expressed my anger and stubbornness thoughts to the audience. Was it fate that I would never progress? On the video it showed the letter that I would be in the SLD department. It also said in the letter how it would have been “too much for me” to be in the actual Performing Arts course with the “normal” mainstream students.

It turns out that college has treated me very kindly and the SLD department was actually a good stepping stone for me to study and perform with the “normal” mainstream students. I went from expressing my anger on stage feeling to expressing my pride and happiness.

  1. I AM RYAN

On film, I spoke about the overview of my time on the course. I learned that my biggest achievement from this University Course wasn’t the high marks on paper. It was learning how to be myself. In those last couple of months I completely let myself go and allowed everyone to get to know the real me and who I really was.

I’m not Autistic, I’m Ryan who just so happens to have Autism.

Being Ryan was my identity. After this revelation I stopped acting at this point and I was genuinely myself. It was definitely natural as I completely forgot my line at that moment. Haha!

I changed clothes into a more casual outfit, cut the tap and invited the audience into “my space”. This was to signify that I now felt more comfortable with how I was. I personally am not comfortable with physical contact but it’s my way of letting everyone know that I’m opening myself up to them.

At this moment I walked out of the room and the video of me, wearing the same casual outfit, came up. This was the scene where I said my “THANKYOUS” to all my friends, colleagues and tutors for treating me kindly for all these years. I would be too embarrassed to say it to their faces so I coped out and made them watch the video instead. Haha. Ironically, this was actually the very first thing that I and Mr P did, shooting this video of “THANKYOUS.”

In this video I played the soundtrack “The Island Song” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” These songs are very poignant to me as I used to severely dislike music. However, these were the very first songs that I liked and they were the platform for me to open myself up to all kinds of music. Now, whilst I still don’t like noise, I can handle music better and I’m very open-minded about it. Once again, Thomas the Tank Engine helped as The Island Song was actually a soundtrack from Thomas the Tank Engine. Haha.

  1. POST SHOW

I came out and took a bow. I was a little bit overwhelmed by the loud clapping and I literally couldn’t look at any of them in the face. After the bow I ran as fast as I could so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I was a little caught up in the moment. Well, that’s a fib. I was VERY caught up in the moment. Haha.

I actually get very embarrassed when I’m the centre of attention or if everyone is looking at me, which is among the reasons why I ran off. If I had spoken to people straightaway I probably would have been too caught up and cried and I really didn’t want that to happen.

After calming down I spoke with my friends one by one and had a good chin-wag with all of them. It was a strange moment as I was talking with them as if I had never performed the piece. It felt natural, very natural. I really did like that feeling and it was at that moment that I realised that all my Uni friends were actually my friends.

By revealing my autism to everyone has turned out to be one of the best moments in my life. I can now say that I have autism without feeling ashamed or insecure.

THANKS FOR READING

Thomas and Gordon 2

Since this day, four years ago, life has been great and for the first time I felt free of doubt. I have never looked back… and I never will.

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Power Yoga

Rose

Happy Valentine’s Day.^^/

Does anyone have any romantic plans? I spent the morning attending the usual Saturday yoga class. I struggled to get a place for the past few weeks but I managed to get a place this week and I’m super happy about that. =)

Today I did Vin…yasa? I think that’s another term for Power Yoga. It’s very physical and more fluid then the other types of yoga classes. The moves are more or less the same but from my point of view it feels more of a workout then a regular yoga class. It’s not that I can’t do the positions it’s just that I don’t like going fast. I found that I was subconsciously trying to match the fast pace of the yoga instructor instead of taking my own time. I thought that if I lacked behind I would miss out on certain moves. So, at times I found myself getting a little frustrated instead of relaxing.

It did help though when the new yogi instructor reminded us that this is our practice and that there’s no need to go at the same pace as everyone else, just as long as we’re applying the moves safely. With this in mind I slowed down my rhythm a little bit and didn’t rush to get into the appropriate positions. I found myself feeling better after that. I also discovered that I became more energetic towards the end of the class. That usually what happens every time I jog or do yoga.

To my surprise at the end of the session I realised how little it bothered me that we had a new instructor this week. I usually don’t like to meet new people without warning. Nowadays I think I worry more about the anticipation rather than worrying about what is happening in the moment. I deal with situations better like that. Of course I’m always going to get nervous and anxious every time I go out, but I’m getting better when it comes to thinking in the moment rather than anticipate the future. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

On this lovely day I’m going to spend the time reading the Light Novel “Is It Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon.” Phew, that was a mouthful. It’s the first time that I read a Light Novel before I read the manga version or indeed watch the anime version. I’m really getting into it and I can’t wait to read the latest chapter. =D

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

WWE Raw and Liverpool Experience

Raw in Liverpool

Winter Greetings.^^/

  1. Post-London, Pre-Raw

A lot has happened in November, especially around the time when I went to London. I found that even though I came back home, I still couldn’t really relax my mind. It seemed that everything was happening at once and I was dealing with lots of things at the same time. If it’s one thing, I usually find a way to work with it. However, too many things give me a head mush. At that point it did feel like my head was about to explode.

To cut a long story short, I had to make a decision whether I wanted to go to a surprise birthday gathering and to WWE Monday Night Raw with a few of my peeps. For the life of me I could not decide what I wanted to do. I enjoy celebrating the happiness of other people but I decided to reject the party invitation in the end. There would be lots of people there that I did not know. I didn’t fancy it in the end and decided not to go.

*

I haven’t watched Raw in weeks. I sort of lost interest in WWE since Daniel Bryan and Bad News Barrett became absent. Did I really want to go to this live event when I wasn’t feeling very well? Not just any event, but an event that I’m not really that into at the moment. I literally decided to go in the last minute, an hour before I was being picked up.

It was at that point when I started to rush around. I had a shower, washed my hair, picked out my clothes and had dinner. I got it in my head as well that we were eating out, but I received a text explaining that we weren’t…oh my. So, with quick thinking, I had jacket potato with melted cheese. I fancied doing beans but as I was on my own I didn’t want to risk doing anything to myself. It’s one thing to harm myself if my parents were around, but if I’m on my home and cooking, that could spell trouble…

I tried to relax, but I couldn’t fully relax. I felt sick, dizzy, had a poorly chest and was eating a luke warm jacket spud. Haha…you’ve got to laugh in those situations. =) I decided to go to Raw as I already paid for my ticket, and, it could be interesting.

  1. Liverpool

The other reason I didn’t want to travel to Raw is because it was in Liverpool. Travelling to this city appears to be a bad omen to me. Throughout my life, every time I go to Liverpool, something goes wrong. It’s not that I dislike Liverpool it’s just that Liverpool dislikes me. XD

  1. I was going to college (which borders Liverpool) but went to the completely wrong campus! I think the driver was taking me to the technology campus. So, I was an hour and a half late for my first college class…. Later on, it was established that I was in the wrong class. Then, it was established that I was actually in on the wrong day. So yeah… I won’t forget about that day in a hurry!
  2. My Dad was taking me to Liverpool, since he used to be the kit man for a none-league side, when we broke down… the policeman helped us, but he came up to me and said ‘this is all your fault!’ It took us a full day to travel back home.
  3. I went to Liverpool to support the Foundation Degree students by watching one of their theatrical productions. However, we got completely lost and had to turn back. We asked for directions but none of the locals knew where the performance location was… silly people.
  4. I was going to perform as the violinist at the Maritime Museum and we were going to take the train, but…the train was cancelled so we had to walk in the scorching heat, take 4 buses, one underground train, and we made it with 15 minutes to spare. We only had time for one full rehearsal.
  5. We went to the theatre to watch Jonathan Pryce in a Harold Pinter production, but the show was cancelled because he was ill…

I really hoped that this trip to WWE would break my trend. I’m sure some day Liverpool and I can settle a truce and drink a J2O like old buddies. =) …that night wasn’t going to be one of those days though, as an incident occurred. It’s a recurring joke that I bring bad luck to Liverpool, but what happened was not a funny matter.

There was a car crash on the motorway involving four cars, which in turn made the roads very busy. I felt instantly bad. I thought “they had a crash because I came to Liverpool.” Thinking rationally now, that’s not really the case. Accidents happen all the time, especially when drivers get impatient on the road. Regardless of everything, I pray that they are all safe and recovering at the speed of light.^^/

  1. WWE Monday Night Raw

We just made it with five minutes to spare. It was an absolute rush. I don’t handle travelling very well, I tend to get sick. I felt unwell to begin with, but the long journey didn’t really settle me. It unsettled me more when we had to rush to our seats, and that took a while too. A gent actually hijacked one of our seats so we had to ask him to move.

The show started pretty quickly. Well, actually, it began with WWE Superstars. Then, it went to WWE Raw. All the while I was still battling with my emotions and tried to focus on the show. The trick I used was taking photos and video clips for my Uncle. I sat on an end isle seat as I could escape whenever I want. However, the Echo arena was a very big arena and I didn’t really fancy getting lost in that building. Haha.

The biggest chants were “Where’s our network?” Apparently, this does not bode well with the WWE officials. When Raw was on TV, they edited this out as best as they could. Other bigger chants were Miz and Mizdown, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Sheamus and the crowd.

The crowd were bantering with each other. If the match bored them then they would find a way to entertain themselves. One guy held up a sign but he had that confiscated by a security gent and everyone chanted “you sold out!” The biggest boos were directed at another security guard. The bottom crowd were playing around with a beach ball during the Sheamus and Rusev match. He got heavily boo’d when he confiscated the beach ball, probably more than Cena. They chanted “you suck!”

The intro was funny, when everyone chanted “John Cena sucks” that went along with his entrance song. The UK really does have a good crowd.^^/

I didn’t join in with any of the banter as my head was really bad and I felt unwell. The sheer noise was not very pleasant, and it did detract from the Raw show somewhat.

Paige got a few standing ovations. I know I stood up and clapped, and I even went down a few steps so I could snap a good picture of her. =) I liked how Lilian Garcia sang our national anthem, it was sweet and touching. Some of the top tier crowd were booing though and chanting about the network. I thought that was disrespectful and in bad taste, but I just ignored them and listened to the anthem.

I also liked the Sting promo and Triple H making an appearance. I kept on anticipating Bad News Barrett making a sudden appearance though, and was gutted when he didn’t.

When the show finished we all darted out asap. I thought the show was ok but I was certainly glad when it was over. I would say that I’ve enjoyed last year’s Raw more, this year I somewhat lost interest in WWE and I was going through a lot this time around. I am focusing on what I enjoyed about the show though, rather than recalling what went through my mind at that moment. I know I’m talking all about it now, but I’m feeling much better and more open to talk about it. =)

  1. Going home

I was asked if I wanted to take a detour to McDonalds on the way home. I declined. It didn’t matter whether I was hungry or not, I just wanted to go home. When I got home my Dad bought me and my Mum McDonalds. I was pleasantly surprised as I didn’t know that there were any McDonalds that were open 24/7.

I’m not a fast food lover, but sometimes fast food is better than no food. 😉

THANKS FOR READING

I was spotted on TV courtesy of a close friend. It’s a blur, but my T-Shirt has made it on TV. I was spotted during Paige’s entrance. Haha. Fame at last. =D Here is the picture.^^/

Me on TV

I wasn’t going to upload this blog until I give account of the 1st Year Anniversary blog, which I plan to post on the 16th November. I’m still recovering from a very busy couple of days. However, my gut instinct told me to upload this blog right now instead of waiting.

With all that is said and done, I can finally relax. I have nothing pressing to focus on. It’s always important to remember to focus on the positive points. It can be hard at times when your head is in a mush, but it’s not impossible. And I like to think that I’m capable of doing that, even when I’m not in the best state of mind.

I endure a lot inside with my Autistic quirks but I always mask my face and feelings with a smile. =)

See you all for now.

Namaste,^^/

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.

London Trip Part One: The Preparation

Virgin Train

London baby!

Ahem…This was a very significant moment in my life and I can’t convey all of my thoughts into one blog post. I chose to divide this London Trip into three parts. =) Here’s the first…

  1. The Introduction

About a year ago my brother asked me if I wanted to go to watch the Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concert. He explained that this is a rare occasion for the tour to come to England. I looked on the site and saw that the orchestra band last came to England in 2012. I thought, ‘two years ago? That’s not so rare if it happened recently.’ Haha.

Tickets went on sale so really I had to make a prompt decision. My mind was very muddled at that point. I felt huge pressure on my shoulders and I kept thinking about the circumstances rather than the concert itself. In the end I more or less said no as my mind went blank and I’m not very talented with prompt decision making.

Afterwards my brother unveiled the fact that he actually bought all three tickets for me, himself and our friend, Cheese. It was a good job that he did as the tickets for the concert sold out in less than two hours! In truth, I did feel more pressure when my brother bought the tickets, but in hindsight, that was actually a smart move. To my understanding, it’s a record sell out. 🙂

I more or less said that I will think about whether I want to come or not, since going to the concert was not going to happen overnight. If I was unhappy with this then all I had to do was sell the ticket and refund my brother…

*

Along the way Cheese dropped out, so that would mean my Brother going by himself. At that point I started to think more about him then myself. He would have been fine on his own by all means but it’s not really the same when there’s no one to share the fun with. Plus, I probably appreciate the Final Fantasy series more than everyone else in our circle of friends. However, my brother appreciates the music a lot more than me.

I decided at that moment that I was going to the concert. Yes, it was a musical orchestra. Yes, it was a concert. Yes, it was at the Royal Albert Hall. Yes, it was in London. Yes, there will be a lot of people there. However, instead of brooding all of that in the present time, I would deal with those issues and worries when the time came.

  1. The Anticipation

I was generally relaxed about the trip at first. I arranged the tickets for Virgin Trains and booked reserved rooms for the Queen’s Gate hotel.

I must be honest when I say that I was very reluctant to stay in a hotel. In an ideal world we would watch the concert and go straight home via trains. That wasn’t really feasible though and so it was more necessary to stay in the hotel overnight. I really didn’t like this but I of course understood that travelling back would be more hassle then its worth. With much reluctance I booked two rooms at the hotel. My brother allowed me to make all the arrangements and I did with assistance from my Mum.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before but I lose a lot of sleep every time I spend a night at my brother’s. I’m very aware in those moments that my bed was not around. Sleeping at someone else’s house has always proved difficult. How am I going to handle the experience in a hotel?

*

In some ways I think I tried to avoid the topic about London as much as I could. I was in the frame of mind that I need to handle situation in the given moment, as oppose to thinking about it and talking about it needlessly.

I think my other folks and sister were more excited about the London trip than I was. When my sister asked if I was looking forward to Saturday, I asked, ‘yoga?’ Deep down, I knew she meant London, but I was really determined to not think about it. If I think about it, I worry. After she clarified what she meant I said, ‘I’m not thinking about it,’ and the topic ended.

Everyone was very encouraging though. My mum was especially encouraging. She was actually born and raised in London, so she knew London like the back of her head. She reassured that I will be fine. I felt reassured that I was going to be safe but it still didn’t change the fact that I was going into the complete unknown.

*

It dawned on me two days before that I was going to go to London… In that time I was busy trying to get my travel kit sorted and fixing my costume for the Halloween party. All the little niggles and quirks that I would laugh off or ignore became important issues. I had a lot on my mind so I ended up getting headaches, pent-up anxiety and I lost a lot of sleep.

Ideally, I would have liked to have an evening all to myself so I could prepare myself mentally. However, the day before we went to London I went to my Brother’s Halloween party. I was aware that there were new people coming so I started to get nervous about that. I found that my anxiety about the London Trip mostly overshadowed my anxiety of meeting new people at the party.

My head was not in a pleasant state because I did not have many opportunities to relax and unwind. I felt rushed and in the need of hurrying up. I don’t like running, rushing or anything at a fast pace. I always prefer to take my time, so bustling about and getting things ready did not help matters.

I did have an hour here and there and I spent that time re-watching particular anime. I also listened to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack since it’s pleasant on my ears. When I was relaxed and happy I was able to think positive. I might have felt ill and had a wave of headaches but that doesn’t mean that it’s all doom and gloom. =)

I left the Halloween party early so I could prepare myself for the next day. I watched anime and settled for bed. I was still a little anxious but I felt happy…

  1. Arriving at the Train Station

I woke up at seven O’clock sharp and straightaway I found myself that I was able to wake up and get up with ease. I opened the window, saw a tree and thought ‘that would make a good picture!’ So I went outside and took a picture of it. It was beautiful. =D

Ahem-

I re-checked my bag, got dressed into my outfit, and re-watched anime before I left my house.

*

My Dad picked up my brother and dropped us off at the train station.

It was certainly a massive place. We found that we had a lot of time to spare because we arrived an hour early. We decided to grab a drink to quench our thirst. We went into Starbucks and I grabbed a lovely creamy hot chocolate. =D

Coincidentally, there was a massive chalkboard which said “AUTISM”. Around that word were different words that were generalised symptoms of Autism. Apparently, that was Starbucks’ charity of the month. In some ways, it makes you wonder if this was a sign. I certainly feel that it could have been, even if it is just a coincidence.

*

We found our train! I asked my brother to take a photo of me beside the train. I posed and he took the photo. I walked towards him, turned around to find that the train was just departing… I was posing next to the wrong train. Whoops. We eventually found the right train and scrambled aboard. We were right at the very back. 😉

  1. The Train Journey

I felt slightly under the weather to tell you the truth as I had a headache and felt jaded due to lack of sleep. The pendolino train, being rickety on the lines, sort of amplified my mental state. After that I felt very sick and very nauseous. Haha. For some reason I was expecting it to be smooth like an Aeroplane (I took part in Child Flight back in the 1990’s but that’s another story) and be a lot smoother. How wrong I was. XD

As I was on this train journey I figured I would use this time to write the Halloween blog as well as start my reviews on Non Non Biyori and Locodol. However, writing these reviews amplified my mental state by ten folds! XD

Despite feeling ill I chose to think positive. I had a lot of good banter with my brother. On the odd occasion I would look out of the window and at the beautiful scenery that were flashing by. We even played noughts and crosses for a little while and had a right good laugh about it. Haha.

The train ride, in truth, was enjoyable to some extent. It sort of felt no different than a normal modern train. We were just travelling farther away and a lot faster. I think because me and my brother were passing the time and enjoying ourselves it just seemed that the train journey ended a lot quicker then we’d expect it. Needless to say we both nearly fainted when we left the carriages. Haha.

The train came to a gradual stop and finally we have arrived at London Euston train station. =)

And- but I mustn’t tell you anymore, I’ll save that for part two. 😉

Thanks for Reading,

Stay tuned.^^/

Ryan.

Smile

Mr Happy

Joyful Greetings.^^/

I try to show the positivity through my smile. I’m not always natural when it comes to smiling though, more specifically, I’m not natural when it comes to smiling outdoors.

I’m always too conscious of my surroundings to feel relaxed. When I come across someone in the street and they catch my eye, I usually two things… I would either look at them for a few seconds, waiting them to smile and I return the smile. Or, I would smile at them, but, my smile is actually a half-hearted grin… I sort of feel conscious when I look at someone and not smile. It makes me wonder if they think that I’m actually staring at them whilst plotting something evil in my brain. Granted, I always find it easier to smile at a pretty lady, but that’s another story!

Anyway-

Smiling is a very important part of life. For me, when someone smiles at me, I automatically smile back, and feeling very good about myself. In a way, a smile is like a greeting, just none verbal. When someone smiles at me, it literally makes me happier and makes me feel better about myself.

I smile all the time at home and when I’m hanging out with friends. There’s never a day or occasion goes by when I haven’t laughed. So, if smiling makes me feel better, then surely the same could apply to everyone else. So, as awkward as it can be for me, I try to smile at everyone, from family to strangers.

I smiled at a lot at my Sister’s wedding, to a lot of people. I especially smiled to those who I didn’t recognise. It boosted my confidence when the people returned my glance with a smile. Of course the wedding was a bit stressful for me, but, being smiled at has certainly lifted my spirits. =)

What I learned from socialising is that you don’t have to wait for people to initiate a smile before you return it in kind. If you feel like smiling at someone, then you should do it. They may not feel like smiling back as they could be going through time themselves. But, if you smile at that person, you might brighten their day, because they certainly brighten mine.

These are the reasons why I think smiling is quite an important part of life. Making people happy, seeing people happy is what makes me happy. =)

THANKS FOR READING

I saw an amazing quote today on a web page.

“If you have to choose between being kind and being right, choose being kind and you will always be right.”

This very quote made me smile even more. =)

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan