Asterisk That Thought

Years ago, while still in Uni, I started a general blog called Asterisk That Thought over on Blogger. Lately I’ve been thinking about it again because I’ve started to focus on my writing (well, think about really, I struggle to focus at the best of times). So I thought I would share in case you ever feel like reading about more non-hair related stuff 🙂 For the time being it may be updated more frequently than this site, so maybe I’ll see you over there!

Love and waves,
Astrid

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Holiday Time

Hi readers,
I’ve been a little lax with my posting, haven’t I? I’m currently four days in to the two week break after my first term at hairdressing school (yay!). My plan was to get back to the five days a week posting schedule that I’d planned at the outset of this blog.
That clearly hasn’t happened, despite having enrolled myself in Writing 101 with the hope that it would give me that extra push to post five days a week.
So what have I been doing? Well, I’ve been writing (just not here). Everyday since Monday, the first thing I’ve done after breakfast is open up my journal and write. Then, after I feel like I’ve done enough freewriting, I move over to another notebook and continue work on the novel I started months ago – before starting hairdressing school.
It feels good to be familiarising myself with the characters and their stories again. It’s right at the beginning and my protagonist has only just begun to get her feet sticky, but I’m eager to find out how she’ll get out of her current situation – though she’s going to get more involved by trying to get out. 
Needless to say, I haven’t done any revision for school either. It’s funny how I have this constant swing between the two things I really enjoy doing (actually, it’s a trifecta – I also love dancing) – I use one to procrastinate about doing the other. But if that’s all I have to worry about right now, I think I’m doing pretty well.

Now it’s your turn, my lovely readers; have you been doing enough of what you love lately? I would love to hear about your projects and passions inthe comments ☺

Love and waves,
Astrid

First Post In Reverse: My Freewriting Response

Well this is the start of a freewriting exercise. It’s more difficult to do these on the computer as opposed to handwriting (my preferred way of freewriting – I do that all the time), because the backspace key is just there.
However, it is actually easier because typing is closer to the speed of my thoughts than handwriting.
So I realised that I wasn’t seeing things backward – I just missed yesterday’s assignment for Writing 101. It doesn’t really matter. I know that the purpose of Blogging U is to get us writing everyday. That’s what makes this better than a uni course – there isn’t that dread of a final grade. If I get more readers or page views out of this course – awesome! If not, at least I got a chance to practice my writing.

Sometimes I wonder at my writing, and now I’m wondering at what people will think of this. I often wonder that kind of thing when I’m writing in my journal – just getting thoughts out and the satisfaction of seeing the loops of my handwritten words on the page. It’s so wonderfully tactile.

I just stopped to read that last paragraph – that’s not what I’m supposed to do in this exercise is it? Oops.
In the freewriting assignment (which was actually yesterday’s assignment, so now I’m doing two posts in one day), they mentioned Natalie Goldberg, and Writing Down the Bones. I love that book so much. In it, Goldberg equates this kind of writing – and the practice of writing in general – with meditation. And that is so true – to just write and let the words flow. It’s an amazing thing and I notice that when I don’t write for a while, my anxiety tends to heighten. It’s kind of a chicken/egg thing – am I anxious because I’m not writing or am I not writing because I’m anxious? I think Natalie Goldberg would say it’s because I’m a writer who’s not writing.

This is going to feel weird to let people read this. You’d be surprised how much of my ‘writing’ is this inane kind of natter.

Now I think I should try and veer away from that kind of negativity. Writing makes me happy, so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s good or not. Of course once I get to a point where I produce content people like to read, of course that would be great. But I really just enjoy writing for writing’s sake. It’s very much a private kind of hobby.
Which brings me around to wanting to pursue a career as a hairdresser – it isn’t quite so private. Hairdressing is something that I can share with people and will be able to help people. With writing, of course all that is true too, but so much of it is subjective. Not so say that hairstyling isn’t subjective – there’s always new ways to do things in any creative field – but… I’m not sure exactly what I’m trying to say.
Okay, I think I know what I was trying to say – hairdressing is about people. There is always at least two people involved in the profession of hairdressing: the stylist and the client. There is no way that it can become private – unless you work on mannequin heads but really, what’s the point of that?
With writing, the sharing is optional. So I like that with hairdressing (aside from it just being plain fun) I have to share my creativity for there to be a purpose to it.
It’s weird that for me the two – professions, careers, hobbies, activities (there are just too many darn words in my brain) – are kind of complementary. I don’t think I’m unique – but it is unusual.

After writing in those parentheses, I now have actually run out of words. I wonder how much time is left? Less than a minute! If you’ve read this all though, throw me a comment or a like – I’ll get a kick out of knowing people have read this blabber 😀

Love and waves,
Astrid

Writing 101

A few months ago, I signed up to Writing 201 through WordPress Blogging U. I did get some things out of it – like trying to put a little more thought into my posts – editing being the big thing – but I only made a concerted effort to participate in the first half of the month. In the second half of the month college had gotten into swing and I found it hard to get the motivation to really keep up with the assignments.

Also, I had only just started my blog. This time around, I’m starting from the beginning. I just signed up to Writing 101, which will (hopefully) encourage me to get back to the ‘five posts a week’ goal that I had when I began Can’t Stop Thinking About Hair.

Blogging U is also running Blogging 101 which aims to help with the post developing side of blogging. I chose to participate in Writing 101 because frequency of posting is the aspect I’d like to concentrate on for now. Developing better posts will come once I have that habit – of course, I’m always open to suggestions in the comments here at any time 🙂

Which of my WordPress readers are joining in one of the courses next Monday September 15th? I’m looking forward to seeing you in the Commons!

Love and waves,
Astrid

PS: I know the past two posts haven’t been hair related – I’ve got two things in the works that will appear at the end of this week or beginning of next week. X

Choices and Pop Music

Good morning readers. I’m taking a detour from Monday Memes this week for two reasons: I haven’t found any memes that made me laugh this week; I had a bit of rough weekend with anxiety and wanted to write about it here.
If you read my blog last week, you know I had my first day as a salon assistant at a new salon on Saturday. The six hours passed and after the shift I found myself sitting in the back office filling out the employment form. And there was that little section at the bottom of the form that I’ve seen on every employment form in my working life: Ailments/Illness. I had a choice to make.
In the past I’ve never put anything there. Although I’ve had asthma my entire life, it’s never affected my ability to work and I’ve got it managed. But there’s another thing that I had to decide whether to put down – anxiety. My anxiety has never affected my work either, but it affects my private life and personal projects. I take medication for it.
I stared at the lines on the page with the pen gripped in my hand. I put the pen to the paper, hesitated, and lifted it away again. After this went on for a few minutes, I wrote down asthma and anxiety. The reason behind this decision was that I want to start at this new workplace completely open place. My anxiety is something that of course I could have kept private. But I would much rather have the option to talk to my new boss without springing something like this on her as a prelude to whatever else I might need to discuss. I wrote asthma more because I decided that if I was putting anxiety, I supposed I should put asthma (it’s a more understandable ailment after all).
For the rest of the weekend my mind would wander to what might come of this admission. The most likely scenario is that my boss won’t even bring it up and I’ll continue working there like normal. However, I couldn’t help thinking about cases where people were discriminated against for their mental illness (it’s weird to think of my anxiety and depression as a ‘mental illness’ but I guess if I’m taking medication for it and it affects my well being then…). The latest one that comes to mind is mentioned in the September issue of Women’s Health Australia, page eighteen if you’re curious. It says a woman was not hired in the UK because she told her employer about her history of depression. However Australia is not the same as the UK and the same article says that some people actually have more support and find it helpful when they are up front. So, we’ll see.

And what have I been doing to distract myself? Listening to pop music! I’m never up to date on music, especially pop, but I was drawn to Taylor Swift’s new single Shake It Off by blogger and YouTuber Rebecca Kelsey. And I love it! Not only is it a catchy tune, but I’m always down for some daggy dancing (go watch the video, you’ll know what I mean :D). So I’ve been listening to the playlist mix for Shake It Off all weekend. There’s some great upbeat tunes to dance and sing along to there.

What do you do to make yourself feel better my lovely readers? Let me know in the comments.

Love and waves,
Astrid

Monday Memes: Dreaming of Summer

Who of you lovely readers is in Sydney today? Because today’s meme says it all: I wish I were somewhere sunny. It’s been raining for upwards of two days straight and this afternoon when I was walking home from the bus stop, my umbrella broke in the wind 😦 By the time I got home, my hair was damp and frizzy, I couldn’t see through my glasses, and my jeans were wet. Wet jeans are the worst!
And it’s supposed to be like this for the rest of the week.
In a more positive light, it’s the perfect weather to be home, warming my hands on hot chocolate and… studying. Yes, I plan to begin that once I press the Publish button.

What’s the weather like where you are? If you’re in Sydney, how are you handling this gloominess? I hope you’re keeping warm!

Love and waves,
Astrid

This image came from the Facebook page of one of my favourite cafes in Bondi – Gertrude and Alice (you don’t know how I nerded out when I found out at uni it was named after Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas).

Weekend Inspiration: Lean In

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Last year I made the decision to pursue a career in the hairdressing industry. It had been something that I’d been daydreaming about since leaving uni; but having a university degree and a family full of academics, teachers and those with careers in the humanities in general, I didn’t entertain it seriously. Until my hairdresser told me I’d make a good hairdresser – unprompted but after telling her about how much time I spend reading articles and watching tutorials about haircare online.

Shortly after that I picked up Lean In, a book I’d been wanting to read for a while. If you haven’t read it, especially if your a woman (regardless of career goal), I recommend it.

It was this book that made me realise that I can be whatever I want to be. And Sandberg’s argument is structured in such a way as not to make anyone feel like their goal is too small. While part of her purpose might be to encourage women to take roles of leadership, especially in large corporations, it is also to help women lean in to their dreams and not hide from their potential. My dream was to become a hairdresser – the best hairdresser. And who was to say that I couldn’t be a hairdresser and also publish a novel? Most novelists have a day career, and why shouldn’t I have a day job that was something I loved doing and that inspired me?

And so my journey into this stage of my life began. Almost a year later, I’m still going ahead with my goal, despite the bumps along the way. I’m sure there will be more obstacles, but I don’t plan on giving up any time soon.

What books have you read that have inspired you? Or maybe it was a movie or a work of art. Let me know in the comments.

Love and waves,
Astrid