Personal challenges

My New Year’s Resolution this year was to challenge myself to at least one thing every month.Whilst I was slow getting started in January, February has been better and my life is slowly getting busier again with work, with my social life and with my own desire to improve myself. So in order to keep myself accountable and to keep track of how I am doing, here are the challenges I have done in the past month and a half.

 

new_york_city_view

Spoiler!

 


Challenge 1: Drive and park on my own. 

I am new to driving, having only just passed in November after years of struggling. Driving on my own has been a very different experience and it has taken me a while to get used to it. It might sound like a silly one, but I was pretty proud of myself for taking ownership and getting myself somewhere and back.

Challenge 2: Join a new exercise class.

Aerial Yoga! It’s so much fun! My resolution was to go to a new exercise class since I know I always enjoy it, and when I saw this class I couldn’t resist having a go. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone, it is so liberating the hang upside down and to know I have the strength to do a flip – it’s great for the core too. Love it!

Challenge 3: Book a trip abroad. 

This was a tricky one, and I know here will be people out there who think I am mad for being so scared about this. The fact of the matter is that I hate things which are beyond my control, and change, even if only a change of place for a week or so, is always a little out of your control. That’s probably why it is so important you do it.

So, I finally plucked up the courage to book a trip to New York. I am very excited about it, but also a little nervous: it’s a long way! I am going with a friend this time, but my next challenge would be to take a trip alone before the year is out; I think if I can get over my worry of it I would really enjoy it. For now, this adventure is big enough!

If any of you have any suggestions on what to do/where to eat in New York please leave me a comment – I would love extra suggestions and would love to know I have some support in this. (Sidenote: if anyone who reads this likes makeup I have a list a mile long for Sephora and the US drugstores so suggestions in this area welcome also. We have booked a checked bag for the flight home…)

So those are my achievements in the past month, I have many more challenges to work on but I don’t want to put them out there until I have done them. It feels a little like I would jinx them. Let me know what you thought of this post – if it was silly or interesting, or if you have any personal challenges you are working on.

The OA: Review

I feel quite uninspired writing this review, and perhaps that is the best way to begin discussing the OA: it was fine, I watched it but I really don’t have a lot else to add.

Nonetheless, I will have a go at ‘adding’ something:

The plot was, to be fair, captivating and fast paced. However, the strange mish-mash of genres and elements can leave you feeling a little empty. It is a strange mix between spiritual, religious and supernatural in a way that feels a little like watching a car crash – you can’t look away but you don’t fully understand what is happening either…

I found it a little ‘preachy’. This might be my personal preference in television but I really dislike it when a series seems a little condescending in their desire to ‘show’ you the correct path. The show seemed almost parable-like in its desire to show an affinity across all people and in the way that the OA was influencing people – although, with the link to angels, perhaps this was intentional.

In this regard, It is interesting that OA’s spiritualism was foreign – the links to Russian legend and religion were interesting if not a little awkward considering the implications of America’s current relationship with Russia.This is what I mean about the show being preachy, whether it meant to be or not, it was politically charged and a little ‘hippy-dippy’. Whilst the underlying moral, to treat others kindly, is always a good one we are of an age now where this can be displayed in a more subtle and sophisticated manner than the show allowed.

However, as mentioned, the story was captivating – like OA’s listeners I, too, found myself watching her story with baited breath, which is perhaps why I felt a little let down by the ending. I was expecting either a great supernatural epic – some conclusion to the story that she had been telling or an epic cut down showing that she was insane (though I do feel this trope is a little cliche now). I feel like we got neither, it hinted at her being insane but nothing was concluded (perhaps in preparation for another series? Who knows) and the narrative of her relationship with Homer was left open.

Image result for the oa

I know some people found the show too weird, and whilst I enjoyed the supernatural elements of it I will admit that the ‘moves’ they discovered and then practised were a bit strange to watch, especially as the series is filmed in such a realist style. Even the image above has an element of realism – there is glass behind them, therefore they are in a room. This immediately creates tangible space rather than something totally metaphysical. This realist style serves to make the series more unsettling, and I can’t decide if this is a good or a bad thing. I think we are more used to obvious CGI or unapologetic recreations of iconic images, such as in Stranger Things, where the allusions to other similar shows and films almost act as an excuse for the type of nostalgic science fiction it indulges in (Sidenote: I love Stranger Things and I think it is a far better series than The OA). The OA did something different and the result is a new type of realist science fiction television which is both fascinating and a little bizarre.

As you can see my responses to the show remain the same no matter what I am talking about… I’m still unsure but I think I liked it…

Have you watched it? What are your thoughts?