Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded – a book review

Book Reviews

I always say I’m not one for YouTuber books. It would really have to speak to me. I’ve bought some YouTube vegan cookbooks and one other biography. Hannah Hart’s book was always on my radar but due to preconceived ideas I never picked it up. That was until I wanted to read about someone’s path with mental health. Living in the centre of off kilter mental health I was desperate to reach out to someone else’s story. I have watched Hannah for years now, not regularly but there has always been something enticing about her abundant happiness – it’s infectious. I had so many ill preconceived notions about Hannah’s life – I assumed she had no problems, I assumed everything worked for her and with the help of hard work and positivity she got to where she is. Wow, was Buffering eye-opening for me!

From the first chapter we were introduced to her family. We got to know Annette, her mother, Naomi and Maggie, her sisters and the other prominent figures in her life. Her mother struggles with schizophrenia and due to that they lived through hardship that no child should experience. What stood out to me the most was how Hannah stepped forward to take care of Maggie. The strongest story in my head is Hannah as a child rushing home to find toddler Maggie eating cigarettes off the ground. Every time Hannah recounted an experience like this or telling the cops about her situation hoping her younger sister could have a better life it showed the immense courage and foresight Hannah had as a child. 

I related to Hannah in parts; mostly her struggle with guilt around religion and family as well as struggling with mental health. When Hannah spoke about flying on the plane and she was sure she was going to die because she enjoyed herself at Burning Man. I had this experience hugely through my teens. If I was able to enjoy myself without thinking of God then why shouldn’t I be punished for it? This is something I am coming to terms with but it has taken years. Hannah perfectly explained that overhanging guilt when it came to religion. Like Hannah, it took world experiences to question my thinking and realise something wasn’t adding up. It wasn’t comforting me and making me happy – it was terrifying me. 

When Hannah spoke about her struggle with coming to terms with her sexual orientation due to her ideas about sexuality it really opened my eyes. As a straight woman I never thought about the fact it was celebrated when I had a date to prom or when I had a first kiss. Hannah was expected to supress and ignore any feelings she had. That internal struggle with “right” and “wrong” must have been immense. Although I can’t understand the struggle it takes to come to terms of being gay, I can understand the strength and bravery it takes to be true to yourself and not become overwhelmed by the opinions of others. 

All in all this book is a gem. It is filled with knowledge and mistakes and love and hate and respect and emotions and self realisation. When I think of a biography I think of someone pouring their soul into it even if it is tough. Hannah did exactly that and more. Any ill preconceived notion I had about Hannah Hart was wiped away and now I see her as a hard working, determined, strong, caring individual. When she is struggling, she seems to struggle but not let it overwhelm her. That is something I am trying to learn. 

If I could talk to Hannah I would ask her what it must feel like bearing your thoughts on paper for the world. How she came to terms with religion ruling her thoughts and how she gets on with life even when it seems overwhelming. 

Music

thoughts

Music is so universal; it is a language we all speak. I constantly listen to music and my music tastes vary quite a bit. I adore that music can transport you to a moment in time. Whenever I read, as a teen, I would listen to an album on replay. Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad instantly brings me to the time I was lying on my bed in my Grandmother’s house reading Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison.

If I take a moment and properly think about it I can remember how the air felt and how bright the room was. I can almost feel the mattress underneath my body. I can feel the paper and I can smell the library pages. Everything about it is warm and the thought feels pink and yellow in my mind. The thing is because it is a memory it is a bit fuzzy around the edges. That is where music comes into play. I listen to that album and I am in instantly in that moment even though it was around a decade ago.

Music, for me, is an instant time machine. If I hear Clean Bandit’s Rather Be I think of a weekend in London in 2014. These memories are endless and the more I indulge in, the more that will be created.

 

2016

Life

Let’s be real, 2016 was difficult for a lot of us and I was no exception. Between dealing with my own health, losing my job, and helping to care for a terminally ill relative, 2016 really tested me. As we come to an end I have already spoke about my resolutions but now I want to talk about the highlights of the year for me. This is an eclectic mix so bare with me.

Getting hired

I graduated college with a Bachelor of Science degree in something that I knew from week one I had no intention of pursuing. I finished college and was left with the prospect of “well if you’re not doing this, what are you doing?”. I managed to get an interview with a start up and from there got the job. I couldn’t believe I was working as a digital designer and writer in the centre of Dublin. Even though my health caught up to me I really enjoyed working in the city while I did.

Internet

I started a website, Mettle, with a friend. We started it because we both love to write but we felt media was focused on celebrity culture and negative connotations around that. We created Mettle to not only showcase our ability to write but also create content we felt people would enjoy. It has been very interesting to run something like this and has taught me a lot. Although it is going through a transformation at the moment (and if I’m honest I’m not sure what is planned for 2017 in relation to Mettle) I really enjoyed writing for myself. I also reached a rut in my personal Instagram account but after I reopened this one, I am excited to start over. If you fancy following it, you can find it here.

Writing

Besides Mettle I have been writing a lot. I actually finished a manuscript of a novel I have wanted to write since I was 16. It was absolutely bewildering to hold a thick bundles of pages in my hand and hopefully in the new year I will finish editing it and see if it is any good. I have enjoyed dabbling with poetry though I am not very good at it. Writing has been a great solace for me this year. Creative outputs are vital for me.

Music

It was a pretty tiring year but one thing that was consistent was new music. It all started with ANTI and it just continued to get better. My favourite albums of the year are;

  • ANTI – Rihanna
  • Views – Drake
  • Joanne – Lady Gaga
  • Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande
  • Lemonade – Beyoncé

You could be sure I was usually listening to a mix of all these. There are some I want to listen to properly before adding them to the list; Starboy, Blonde, Glory, Coloring Book, Untitled Unmastered, Awaken My Love.

Books

I have always loved getting lost in a good book but at the beginning of this year I gave myself the challenge to read 12 books. I fell short of that resolution but I definitely increased the amount of books I read. This year I am starting up the challenge again but this time I am starting a mini book club with a friend. We haven’t decided on our first book yet but keep an eye out in January because I’ll be blogging it all.

I really resented this year, it has been my toughest in a very long time but looking at the positive aspects has been very therapeutic

My future bookshelf

lists, Monthly Favourites

I am always making lists. Future projects lists, groceries list, todo lists, things-to-remember lists, movie lists and, my future bookshelf list. Now, before you progress any further (incase you haven’t read my last post-go read it btw!) I am a tween at heart and my favourite books are mostly directed towards young puberty stricken girls (and 24 year old me apparently). That being said all the women that I admire with every fibre of my being *coughmindykalingcough* have written books and they make my list a little bit more grown up. A little bit.

First and foremost it is the Harry Potter series though I wish for a beautiful cover such as these. I have read and reread these books umpteen times and never tire of them!

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Yes, the movie was dismal but, the books are imaginative and intriguing. I read these at a time when I was in a strange place but they bring me joy.

Rover Saves Christmas by Roddy Doyle. If you are 24 going on 12 in relation to reading (like me…) read this book around Christmas. It is fantastic! It tells the story of Rudolph not being able to work Christmas Eve and Rover the dog taking over. It is a children’s book but I utterly love it. It makes me think of reading it beside the christmas tree with the fire lighting and a mug of hot chocolate beside me.

Bridget Jones 1-3. I have been a fan of the movies for a long time now but the books I only found on holidays this July (Helen Fielding, can we be best friends please?).

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and, Why Not Me? both by Mindy Kaling. (Mindy, please be my best friend, please).

(Now I’ll quicken the pace, if possible)

Yes Please – Amy Poehler

#Girlboss – Sophia Amorusa

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (arguably my favourite book)

 

This is a small taster of my future bookshelf which I will continue to grow once it is not past my bedtime and I have a look through my books and Kindle tomorrow…

My July

Life, Monthly Favourites

July has been one fantastic month! I spent most of it lounging around in Tuscany, which was a bit surreal, I caught up on my reading, I listened to old music rather than new and, I ate myself one stone heavier (sigh).

(P.s this is a long post!)

Read-

I am a sixteen year old girl at heart and never really grew up to adult literature. Instead I read YA novels because, for some reason, they appeal to me more. In the YA category I read Paper Magician and, Glass Magician by Charlie M. Holmberg. I enjoyed this series, it is a novel focused around a young girl named Ceony as she leaves Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined and starts on her journey to become a Folder (someone who is magically bonded to paper). I found this series original and I am currently loving any setting that is in London. I would recommend these books if you like magic, romance and strange characters (vague, I know).

I finished the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and simultaneously started Paper Towns by John Green. I am keeping these together because I was quite reluctant to bother finishing Divergent as I was just not into it and felt myself skimming pages rather than actually reading and I found starting Paper Towns the same BUT I won’t call it quits on Paper Towns. I will give it a proper read in a couple of weeks when things are a bit calmer and I can actually find time to read. (pleasedontkickmeofftheinternetplease)

The by-far best book I read this month was Bridget Jones. It makes me wish she was a real person and my best friend. I loved every minute of it and, even though I watched the films first it only enhanced the experience as every time I read Daniel Cleaver’s dialogue I heard Hugh Grant’s voice and that was a wonderful addition! There are a few books that I mentally add to my future apartment bookshelf and this will be there but, I really want the white hardback cover (aesthetics, eh?) but can’t find one that delivers to Ireland. Disappointing.

August Goals: Finish Master Magician and Bridget Jones series. I don’t predict much reading for this month!

Beauty-

Urban Decay’s Revolution Lipstick in Catfight. Ok, yes I know I haven’t worn it outside my bedroom but I love it. Think I might do a post on it in order to prevent me droning on.

I have wanted to try the Sephora face masks for a long time but as there is no Sephora in Ireland I ravaged the one in Lucca. I tried the Green Tea Face Mask and the Rose Eye Mask and they were wonderfully hydrating and the Green Tea FM definitely helped with my blemishes. I have a Pearl Face Mask lined up for a day I need it!

As my skin has been quite bad after graduating I have tried Anthony Gycolic Facial Cleanser and I have found it powerful and doesn’t leave my skin dull or dry. That being said I really wouldn’t recommend for people with sensitive skin.

August Goals: Find a blusher other than Benefits Coralista. Any recommendations?

Travel-

I spent the beginning of July in Tuscany and it was stunning and beautiful (more cliche words please, Lisa). It is exactly how you imagined it; terracotta roofs, vineyards, olive and cypress trees all framed by mountains with lush grass. The temperature never dipped lower than 30C and I loved every second. I travelled to Lucca a couple of times and a few other towns around Tuscany. Next time I go back I would like to go to Florence and Venice and, maybe go back to Rome.

August Goals: No travelling lined up, must save money for future travels.

Tuscany

 

Internet-

I am loving Tumblr so much at the moment. I have been following many more blogs and fine tuning my dashboard. My favourite blog atm has to be Marnie the Dog. That puppy would cheer up the coldest heart! As I have been insulting all of the internet’s prized possesions I have to say I really don’t enjoy the ‘what are those’ Vine trend BUT I am loving the ‘run’ vines. I could watch those forever!

August Goals: Expand my list of Tumblr blogs to follow. You didn’t think you could have goals for your internet life but here you are.

Music-

I have been listening to a lot of older songs. Bridget Jones brought me back to early 2000’s music, a lot of Sugababes…a bit too much Sugababes. I am currently (as in right this second) listening to I am…Sasha Fierce. What a great album! It reminds me of secondary school and reenacting the songs (should’ve kept that to myself). I also have been listening to a lot of Drake and The Weeknd but at the moment, who isn’t? I bought Pinkprint because I have been really enjoying Nicki BUT (get ready for a v dramatic story) I bought it while in Italy at a cafe and downloaded it but apparently they never took the money off my card and I (stupidly) assumed they had and spent the last (€20) on other things. I now am in debt to iTunes to the value of €12.99.

August Goals: Pay iTunes the €12.99 I owe them from buying Pinkprint…cant live with this guilt. Less Sugababes (slowly wean myself off).

TV & Internet Shows-

Pretty Little Liars. This is such a strong love/hate because I wait all week for it and then it comes on a Wednesday. I get a cup of tea and lie on my bed and then its leave with so many unanswered questions. Also they are taking a mid-season hiatus (pleasePLLdon’tdothistome).

I have yet to finish The Vampire Diaries, the last two episodes to go I just have no motivation. I feel like everything else is on a season break, I guess that is because everything else is.

August Goals: Get back into The Mindy Project (Mindy Kaling, please be my best friend).

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you feel like I should be watching/listening/reading/using anything please leave it in the comments! Apologies for the long post but, hopefully it was enjoyable!