names: inspired by books!

Hello everyone! So after a long, long time… I am back.

My friend and I were talking about names during a Biology lecture, and I decided to do a thing where I would list names that I liked inspired by certain themes, like books or mythology or science. Just thought it would be fun, and maybe if you were looking for a name for a pet or something this post could help. I’m not gonna do girl and guy names separately; it’s gonna be a mishmash of names I suppose.

1) Sorrel (Sarah Rayne, A Dark Dividing)

A bit of a morbid one, I suppose, but in the book, Sorrel is one of a pair of conjoined twins born in 1900. She was named Sorrel after the plant woodsorrel, and I always thought it was a very lovely-sounding, unique name, and I associate it with images of the English countryside and clean air and bicycles.

2) Pip (Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)

While I wouldn’t necessarily name a child Pip, I think it’s an adorable name for a pet (a mouse/hamster/rat?) and a great nickname, especially for someone called Phillip (which is Pip’s actual name in the novel). Pip is an extremely flawed character- in fact, I found him hard to like, but through the novel, the reader kind of watches him grow and mature from an innocent child to misguided young adult to a sadder, but wiser man, and you end up loving him anyway. It’s an interesting journey. 

3) Daenerys (George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire)

Many people will probably be familiar with the name of Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons. She tames dragons. She’s amazing. Boom. Plus you can nickname someone with this name Dany which is really cute too.

4) Elinor and Marianne (Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility)

Two sisters, polar opposites, best friends. They go through a lot in the novel, and they go through it together. I think it would be nice for sisters, or even two pets who live together (for some reason, goldfish come to mind).

5) Kane (Rick Riordan, The Kane Chronicles)

Surname of the Kane siblings. They’re vessels for the Egyptian gods and goddesses, and their parents are Isis (kind of the queen goddess. Apparently the mother of every pharaoh) and Osiris (god of the dead/underworld). Cool stuff.

6) Nico (Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson)

Son of Hades. Need I say more?

6) Zosia (William Styron, Sophie’s Choice)

One of the main characters in the novel. She’s called Sophie, and her Polish nickname is Zosia. She’s a Polish concentration camp survivor, and is characterised as vivacious, sweet, funny and kind, but also extremely broken. It’s a highly interesting character.

7) Nemo (Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)

No, this isn’t a Finding Nemo reference. Captain Nemo was the mysterious captain of the Nautlius, a gigantic submarine that sails all around the world. He is extremely knowledgeable about the ocean, and has renounced living on dry land in favour of living in the sea. 

8) Scout (Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird)

Inquisitive, tomboyish narrator of one of the best novels ever written. We see the world of racism in a small town in 1960s America through her eyes.

German music 

Hey guys! I don’t know if I ever mentioned this before but I actually study German. I live in Singapore, so I have little (if any) experience with the language. One of the ways I tried to expose myself to German, particularly in the earlier days, was through music. My absolute favourite band is an NDH band called Oomph! but I do want to do a separate post on them, probably on my music blog.

I recently came across some really good songs, and I thought I’d share them here because even if not all of us can speak the language we can all appreciate a good tune. 

1) Dann kommt die Musik – Flowrag

2) Aus Gold – Tagtraeumer

This is SO GOOD it’s such a typical teenager feel-good song. It makes me feel so free and happy. 

3) Ich bereue Nichts

There is no way to describe Stefanie Kloß’s voice other than… 👌

4) Musik sein – Wincent Weiss

5) Herz über Kopf – Joris

6) So schön kaputt – SDP

7) Fühlt sich wie fliegen an – Max Herre ft. Cro

This is the chillest song that ever chilled. It has the wear-a-big-shirt-lie-on-couch-eat-chips-and-bob-head-in-time-to-beat vibes.

8) Perfekt Unperfekt

The girl in the video is almost the most gorgeous female I have ever seen.

9) Fick ihn doch – Alligatoah

This is extremely vulgar but the video and lyrics are so hilarious. Alligatoah makes really funny songs. Also, I have actually found that listening to rap can exponentially improve one’s ability to understand spoken German.

insecurities

Hello! 

Although the title of this post sounds really solemn, that isn’t my intention at all. 

I was just reflecting about how I’ve come such a long way over the past few years in terms of my self-esteem and confidence. I find it such a pity that so many beautiful people in the world feel so insecure about themselves, just because they have or don’t have certain body parts/skills/other things that society tells us that we “need” to have in order to be “pretty” or “accepted”. 

I think one thing that really affects the way we see ourselves is really social media/the media in general. For me, a lot of my self-image issues stemmed from instagram and how a lot of users chose to present themselves. 

There’s really nothing wrong with wanting to look your best or anything like that, because you are beautiful/good-looking/handsome/cute/all-round amazing and we all should learn to celebrate that fact about ourselves more! It’s just that one problem with such social media is that we often don’t remember that we’re literally only seeing what others want us to see. 

We’re not seeing how these people normally look in their daily life- we’re seeing them from behind filters, makeup, really good lighting, specific angles, and all of that stuff. I think a lot of us don’t remember that and we look at the photo and think, “I’ll never be as perfect as he/she is”. That’s true. Often, it’s really impossible to achieve that flawless look in real life, because the people in the pictures themselves don’t even look like the people in the pictures! That’s why I really love the #5secondtransformation hashtag on instagram, where users show side-by-side comparisons of what they normally look like and how they look like when they pose for instagram/other social media sites.

Kudos to all these women! There were men as well, but sadly theirs were mostly videos and I couldn’t exactly screenshot the videos.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with posting pictures of yourself that you feel look good and show yourself in the best light. If I take a good selfie, I’m sure as heck posting it because hey, everyone loves to feel good about themselves! 

Just remember that the pictures we see online should not be the standard we set for our own appearances, because we are all already beautiful in our own way, both with and without that filter, with and without that editing, with and without that perfect angle. 

I thought it would be a nice idea to do a sort of “body-positive” post where I posted some things that society would say should make me insecure about myself, but with which I am slowly learning to accept and love as part of my ongoing growth! Hopefully this can also help others realise that:

  1. They aren’t the only ones struggling with these self-esteem issues.
  2. They can still feel confident and beautiful, even with these so-called “flaws”.  

Soo… let’s get started!

So, as you can tell from the above picture, I have nowhere near perfect skin. And yes, neither do I have very bad acne, but my skin has still been a constant source of worry and anxiety to me for a really long time. Recently, it really started to clear up. However, I just kind of kept finding more and more things to find fault with. I no longer have really bad pimples/large whiteheads on my face, but it’s very rough and has big pores and a lot of blackheads, as well as being really oily. Then I realised- even though my skin was really much better, I was so down about it I could only see the negative points in it, preventing me from allowing myself to feel pretty/as happy as I could have been. If you don’t learn to love yourself as a person first, no matter how much your physical appearance improves you’re always going to find something negative about it to pull down your self-esteem. So don’t fret if you don’t always look like you have baby-soft skin- just try and accept that most humans on the planet never have and never will have it, and that’s the plain truth.

Hairy legs. It’s a forest down there. I’ve never shaved nor do I plan to (so much work), and honestly most people… do not seem to care. Other than myself.

Scars, cuts, bruises. We all have them. This is one that has been on my thumb for really long (I am a competitive sprint kayaker and I tend to get these abrasions) and I get teased about it sometimes. My friends like to laugh at me about how my hypothetical boyfriend won’t want to hold my hand (I have the same type of scars on my palms and fingers as well). This isn’t something that’s a really big issue for me, although I know it can be big for some so I thought I would share.

I kind of see scars as permanent reminders of things that I’ve been through, rather than unwelcome additions to my body. Every time I see the one on my thumb I think, “wow, look at how resilient I am to train so much to the point where I have that thing on my finger.” When I see the scars all over my legs, it reminds me of the camp I went to when I was fifteen and how I spent five days with my schoolmates literally in the tropical jungles- and survived. I guess you could say I see them as a “badge of honour” in a way? 

My skin colour. I’m extremely tan, and I come from a pretty pale family on the female side. Plus, my culture tends to see “fair” the “ideal” female skin colouring. That’s my sister through and through. She has skin like a porcelain doll. This was not really a problem for me until I started comparing myself to her and realised how incredibly dark I was- which honestly is really stupid because I am a kayaker. I spend literally three hours in the sun twice a week, with four and a half hours on Saturday. I’m gonna be tan. 

Let’s end off with this:

1) Things I’m insecure about and how they make me feel:

  • Skin – imperfect, ugly
  • Scars – gross
  • Skin colour – “undesirable”
  • Hairy legs – “non-feminine”, lazy

2) Things other people have told me that they like about me:

  • I’m a nice person.
  • They care about me.
  • I’m fun to be around.

3) Things I value in other people:

  • Whether or not they’re nice.
  • When they’re kind.
  • When they’re patient.

4) Amount physical appearance seems to matter to me and to other people:

  • Apparently, not at all.

Final message: we’re all beautiful people, and our outside appearance can’t change that. Outward appearances are just embellishments to who we are as a a person.

So yeah! Those are the things I’m a little insecure about. Hopefully I helped someone feel less alone/better about themselves, and if anyone’s up for doing this as well please let me know! I’d love to read it.

0051 // names

I used to write a lot (occasionally still do) and one of my favourite parts of it was picking out names for all my characters. Twelve-year-old me spent hours scrolling through articles with titles like “Nature Baby Names” or “Top Ten Unique Names to Give Your Child”. I still love names, and thought I would just put a few of my favourite names here. Side note: these are all names I would conceivably give my children, so there aren’t many names that are too hard to pronounce/too high-fantasy or wattpad-fanfictiony sounding.

Boys

I’m starting with boys’ names because- to me- they’re a little boring and limited compared to girls’ names. It’s like how when you eat your dinner and you eat the vegetables first to get them over and done with, and save the mashed potatoes for last.

  1. Nicholas
    Origin: Greek
    Meaning: 
    Victory of the people
    Why I like it: It sounds vaguely Russian.
  2. Alexander
    Origin: Greek
    Meaning: Defender of the people
    Why I like it: Can be shortened to Alex, and I like how Germans pronounce it.
  3. David
    Origin: Hebrew
    Meaning: Beloved
    Why I like it: I think it would be an honour to carry the name.
  4. Rhys
    Origin: Welsh
    Meaning: Ardour
    Why I like it: It just sounds really nice.
  5. Kade
    Origin: American
    Meaning: This one has a pretty weird meaning- “stout person”.
    Why I like it: It sounds so friendly and chill. Kade is the guy everyone wants to hang out with after school.

Girls

  1. Zosia
    Origin: Polish
    Meaning: Dimunitive of Zofia, meaning “wisdom”
    Why I like it: The main female character in the book “Sophie’s Choice” (William Styron) is called Zosia by her family, and I love the book and the sound of the name.
  2. Sorrel
    Origin: Germanic
    Meaning: Brown, chestnut
    Why I like it: This also came from a book (“A Dark Dividing”, Sarah Rayne). The mother wasn’t sure what to name one of her twins, and was thinking of “Violet” but decided she didn’t want a weak, shy name, so she thought of the plant wood sorrel and named her child after that instead. It’s a nice-sounding name, and it’s also really suggestive of the English countryside and good, strong earth to me.
  3. Nika
    Origin: Persian/Green
    Meaning: Good/Victory
    Why I like it: It’s a Russian name.
  4. Eira
    Origin: Welsh
    Meaning: Stemmed from Norse goddess Eir, means “snow”.
    Why I like itIt sounds really light and fresh.
  5. Cassia
    Origin: Greek
    Meaning: Cinnamon
    Why I like it: Sounds and looks really pretty.
  6. Mica
    Origin: Latin
    Meaning: Old friend
    Why I like it: Long-standing favourite.
  7. Cari
    Origin: Turkish
    Meaning: Flows like water
    Why I like it: Sounds nice.

Unisex

  1. Kai
    Origin: Hawaiian
    Meaning: Ocean
    Why I like itI really love the sea, so the meaning obviously draws me in, and it’s also just really simple and easy to say and remember. Kai.
  2. Fox
    Origin: English
    Meaning: …well, fox, I suppose
    Why I like it: Realistically speaking, I probably wouldn’t name my kid Fox (think of the teasing) but I just really like the name. I would legitimately name myself Fox.