The True Sea

The human mind, old films, literature and podcasts.


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6 Things I Love These Days

6 Things I Love These Days | The True Sea thetruesea.comSafe bet books
Recently, I got out of the habit of reading every day simply because I didn’t feel excited about the books on my reading pile. So I got a few novels that are safe bets. I really enjoyed Herman Koch’s The Dinner. His new metafictional thriller Dear Mr M sounds like it will tick all my boxes. Japanese crime fiction and horror never let me down, so I also got Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama and Ring by Koji Suzuki which surprisingly, I’ve never read.

Preparing for 2017
I’ve started writing down my goals for next year. Creating a home in my own place, spending more time with the people I love and changing day jobs to do what I’m passionate about are my top priorities. My wellbeing is more important than anything else. I also want to focus on learning new things, relaxing better and establishing more healthy routines.

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories
A beautiful life drama series based on the manga Shinya Shokudō. A chef referred to as ‘Master’, only opens his little restaurant between midnight and 7am. He has a very small menu, but he will happily cook whatever his customers ask for as long as he has the ingredients for the dish. This is a thought-provoking show about the interactions we have and the relationships we form over meals. You can watch it on Netflix.

Laughing every day
It helps me de-stress and take life less seriously. When I’m not working, I listen to comedy podcasts and watch fun stuff. I’m really enjoying Maron and Brooklyn Nine-Nine at the moment. Mascots is one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a while and I highly recommend it. It’s basically Best in Show, but with mascots instead of dogs.

Ruminations by Conor Oberst
I’ve been listening to Conor’s new album in bed with my eyes closed. Everything he creates evokes such a wide range of feelings and memories. There’s sorrow, nostalgia, happiness, melancholia, hope, comfort, affection, determination, acceptance and love. His music feels like home to me in a way that no physical place ever has. It makes me feel safe.

Making myself feel good
Doing things that I’ve been putting off. Sorting through and organising my belongings. Becoming a Cats Protection sponsor. Donating stuff I don’t use to a Mind charity shop. Selling clothes I never wear. Finally paying off my student loan.

How about you? What things do you love these days?


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6 Things I Love These Days

6 Things I Love These Days | The True Sea thetruesea.comMy mala necklace
Mala necklaces are traditionally used during Japa meditation where a mantra is repeated 108 times – one time for each bead. I couldn’t find quite what I wanted, so I decided to make one myself out of rosewood, turquoise and lapis lazuli beads. I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

Anything that makes me feel cosy and safe
Snuggling up under a throw with a big cup of cherry blossom or mango green tea and a Japanese crime novel in the evenings. Watching an old horror film in bed by candlelight with a box of chocolates. Taking a long Epsom salt bath while burning a rosewood scented candle. Writing my thoughts out while listening to Nine Inch Nails.

Spotless
A CANAL+ Création Originale genre-bending drama series about Jean Bastière, a crime scene cleaner who lives in London with his wife and their two kids. One day, his estranged, wayward brother Martin turns up at their house and asks for a huge favour. Things escalate really quickly from there. It’s dark, gory and satirical – everything I want from a tv show. You can watch it on Netflix.

Being alone with my thoughts
For a while, I haven’t allowed myself to simply sit and think. When I’m stressed out and my thoughts are racing, I use constant distraction as a coping technique to prevent my OCD from triggering thought loops. Even though I’m still under a lot of pressure at work, I’m back to normal now, allowing my thoughts to pass through as they wish, visualising the future and letting myself daydream.

True Crime Japan
A podcast about true crime and mysteries from Japan. To my delight, the hosts cover some cases that haven’t received much attention outside of the Land of the Rising Sun. My favourite episodes so far are The Suicide Website Killer and The Psychic Spot Disappearance (The Spirited Away Hotel). There hasn’t been a new episode in a while, but I hope they’re intending to make more.

Patricia Highsmith books
I can’t believe I haven’t read any of her work until now. So far I’ve read A Suspension of Mercy and This Sweet Sickness. The latter had a big emotional impact on me. Next up is The Cry of the Owl. Patricia’s exceptionally well-written psychological thrillers very much get under your skin and inside your head. Her characters blur the line between imagination and reality in such a fantastic way that even the reader isn’t sure which is which.

How about you? What things do you love these days?


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Taking Stock

Taking Stock | The True Sea thetruesea.comEnjoying: days of alone time.
Listening: to The Unresolved Podcast.
Wearing: my 2nd chakra symbol necklace every day.
Making: peace with my past.
Drinking: Clipper Green Tea with Raspberry and Ginseng.
Feeling: slightly blasé about this year.
Reading: Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball.
Looking: forward.
Wishing: I had more time to write.
Liking: how visiting Sweden always reassures me that I’m on the right path.
Waiting: for the next season of American Horror Story.
Snacking: on cinnamon almonds.
Learning: to be more patient.
Loving: wandering around a bookshop for an hour.
Watching: Stranger Things and Happy Valley.
Admiring: Rose McGowan. Always.
Getting: lots of blog post ideas.
Noticing: my negative thoughts and redefining them.
Giggling: at BoJack Horseman.
Bookmarking: Creepy Catalog articles.
Deciding: to be kinder to myself.
Wanting: to move into a house.
Thinking: about the connections we choose and the ones we don’t choose.
Knowing: that I’m conquering my commitment issues.

Taking Stock is a feature inspired by the lovely Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s.


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6 More Things I’ve Learnt This Year

6 More Things I've Learnt This Year | The True Sea thetruesea.comThis has been a bizarre year so far to say the least. Some days, I feel like we’re all in an episode of The Twilight Zone. Though with the latest plot twist (this is likely as political as I will ever be on here), it seems more like an episode of Black Mirror. Yet I’m learning lots about myself and how things are connected. Here are six more things I’ve learnt this year.

Reading gets me out of my head when nothing else works.
Books have always been my escape. Listening to a podcast or watching something can still allow my thoughts to wander or loop when I’m in a stressed or anxious state. But picking up a good book always distracts me from my internal monologue. The instant I become completely engrossed in what I’m reading, my thoughts stop.

It’s okay to not want a busy social life.
I’m not a people person. My favourite person to hang out with is me. I do love spending time with people I like, but truth is I don’t like a lot of people, and it goes both ways. I’m fine with that. There’s a limited amount of time I can deal with social interaction before I need to recharge my batteries alone, and that’s okay too.

I need to do what I love for a living.
Spending only my free time doing what I love isn’t enough to keep me happy. I loop back to this over and over again. A means to an end job just isn’t something I can do long term. I always end up frustrated and questioning my life choices. Frankly, I admire people who don’t lose their minds doing boring work. But I need to accept that I’m never going to be one of those people. I need to do what I love full time. I need to write, and work with books and words.

No one has the right to expect anything from me.
It’s not my job to live up to the expectations of others. If people don’t want to accept me as I am, that’s their problem. I don’t change to fit anyone’s assumptions. The older I get, the lower my nonsense tolerance gets. Healthy relationships and interactions are unconditional. And those are the only kind I want in my life.

Happiness requires constant work.
I know this, yet I still slip up every now and then. If you are, consciously or unconsciously, looking for negative aspects, that’s invariably what you’ll focus your attention on. Life isn’t meant to be good, nor is it meant to be bad. It isn’t meant to be anything. You decide how you interpret the world around you. Your life is only as good as you believe it is.

The best is yet to come.
I never reminisce about days gone by. Things weren’t better back then. They’re better now, and they keep getting better. The present is fine, but the future will be amazing. That’s where the really good stuff is. Every day I’m getting closer to living the life I want to live.

How about you? What things have you learnt this year so far?


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Simple Pleasures in Sweden

Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comHello lovelies, how are you all? It’s been a while. I haven’t been blogging much lately because my outdated blog name was really starting to bother me. So, I spent a week doing intensive brainstorming and I finally settled on a new one. I wanted it to hint at the topics I write about, but I just couldn’t come up with anything I loved that wasn’t already taken. In the end, I went with The True Sea. It’s a Paul Dempsey song “about space – as in deep space, but also personal space”. I’m already excited about blogging again!

I’m back home in Brighton after 2 weeks spent with friends and family in Sweden. A visit to my home country never fails to make me reconnect with myself, but it also never fails to bring up conflicting feelings. As a visitor, I see all the good things. I know though, that I had very valid reasons to leave. It makes me sad to see how some things haven’t changed at all. Yet it allows me to appreciate just how much I’ve grown as a human being since I moved to the UK 6 years ago. The best thing about visiting Sweden is being around people who know me really well. It always reminds me that the little things are important.Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comLittle things like:

Catching up with friends who I haven’t seen for at least 6 years over a drink.
Walks in the woods.
Trying new teas such as green tea with apple and rose.
Eating raspberry blueberry crumble made by my best friend when I’m feeling poorly.
Picking up a new kimono in my favourite shop, INDISKA.
My best friend’s cat falling asleep on my lap.
Reading Vertigo by paraffin lamp light.
Playing with my childhood best friend’s little baby girl.
Watching one of my favourite films, Bedazzled (1967), with my best friend.
Talking about life with my dad.
Swedish strawberries, cheese, black bread, strawberry ProViva and Onaka fil.
Crying with laughter.
Sitting with my thoughts while watching the waves on my brother’s tiny island.Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.com


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How To Reach Fulfilment

How To Reach Fulfilment | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comWhen I was younger, I believed that there was this one thing out there that would magically make me feel fulfilled. If only I could find that thing, life would become permanently amazing. I’ve spent most of my life moving on to the next thing in the belief that the next thing could be that thing. Truth is, it doesn’t exist. Fulfilment doesn’t come until we choose wholeness over happiness. Life is the good bits and the struggles. Both are equally vital parts of the story. Fulfilment comes when we use our skills and strengths to their fullest in all areas of our lives.

But unfortunately it’s not that easy. It takes constant work and it requires fitting a lot of satisfaction pieces into one big satisfaction puzzle. It’s a very personal thing and you need to actively make time for what’s important to you. The good news is that you are fully capable of writing your own story. Go out there and create the life that you want to live rather than letting life happen to you. Choose to fill it with things that make you happy every day. Here are ten things that will help you reach fulfilment.

Follow your passion
I cannot stress this enough. If we don’t do what we feel that we’ve been put on this earth to do, we become stagnant and miserable. Find a way to do what you deep down want to do with your life. There is always a way. Don’t let fear stop you from chasing your dreams. Chasing them is not going to feel worse than not chasing them.

Be intentional and put your heart into it
Do all things with purpose and love. Be present in everything you do by taking responsibility for your emotional, mental and physical well-being. Be honest with yourself and others, and be clear on what you want. Choose to positively impact every experience.

Regularly make time for your hobbies
Doing things for fun is therapeutic. It helps you unwind and calm your mind. Hobbies are not the same as passion. They’re the things that make you relax and connect with yourself. Make sure you spend your free time doing what you love. We all have to work, but the time you spend not working is yours to do what you want with. Choose wisely and plan your time carefully.

Spend time with and on the people who love you unconditionally
Nurture your important relationships. Creating a bond with people who understand us and love all of us, flaws included, is a rare thing and it deserves to be treasured. Give them lots of love and support. Distance is irrelevant when you have a strong bond with someone. Talk to and message them often, and send them things every now and then to remind them that you’re thinking of them.

Take time off work regularly
We need frequent breaks to relax and recharge. If you’re lucky enough to have a job that you love, that’s great! Still, if you don’t take breaks, your love for that job will diminish. Spread your holiday out throughout the year. Go somewhere you’re never been before or visit friends and family.

Trust and let people in
This comes easier for some people, but it is a skill that you can learn. Even if you’ve been hurt over and over in your life, you have to believe that there are people out there who won’t purposefully hurt you. Be open and authentic, and you will attract like-minded people into your life. Show people that they can trust you.

Know that you are significant
You’re making a difference in the world and in people’s lives. You are important and unique. People need you and care about you deeply. Everyone feels lonely and insignificant from time to time, but you are never as alone as you think.

Take time away from daily life to reflect and check in with yourself
Sit with yourself every day. Meditate if that’s your cup of tea or simply allow yourself to just be. Above all, be honest with yourself. Listen to your body, heart and soul. Do what you need to do for yourself because you are the most important person in your life.

Push past your fears
Taking risks helps us grow as human beings. It builds our self-esteem and widens our world. Try new things and push yourself outside of your comfort zone as often as possible. Habitually doing new things and putting yourself in new situations are the only things that make you more intelligent. Yes, really.

Always address your needs and listen to your intuition
What you want and what you need is rarely the same thing. Make a habit of asking yourself if you have everything you need. Learn to differentiate between wants and needs. If something makes you feel anxious or sick to your stomach, it could be a sign that you shouldn’t be doing that thing. Not to be confused with simply being nervous. If it doesn’t feel right, it means that it isn’t. Or in the words of my dad,”If it doesn’t make you happy, then don’t do it.”.


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Lately

Lately | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.com1. I read The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada in just a few days and I was absolutely blown away by how clever the plot was. The other night, I started Coin Locker Babies by Ryū Murakami. His books always leave me feeling satisfied. When I went to Northern Ireland a couple of weeks ago, I started the crime novel All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe. It was a very enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.

2. I listened to the audiobooks The Dark Tourist: Sightseeing in the World’s Most Unlikely Destinations by Dom Joly and Going to Sea in a Sieve: The Autobiography by Danny Baker. Both were very entertaining and had me in tears laughing. I’ve also been listening to loads of true crime podcasts.

3. I’ve been thinking a lot about the people who I have that special bond with – the bond that can never be broken. I consciously choose to spend a lot of my time alone because I see no point in wasting time on people who I don’t feel a strong connection with. That kind of socialising exhausts me. On the same theme, I’ve been thinking about the concept of family. Not only defined by blood or legal bond, but also by emotional connection. I come from a very small family who practise sporadic contact and I’ve always wanted to be part of a big family who celebrate together. One day.

4. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the future and what fulfilment really is. There is no one thing that can magically make us feel fulfilled. It’s all about adding small pieces to a big puzzle. It can be achieved through following your passion, being intentional, trusting, addressing your needs, taking time off, reflecting, pushing past your fears and so on. I’m choosing to pursue fulfilment.

5. I watched season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The first few episodes are slow but it picks up. I find it really inspiring and Tina Fey’s character is hilarious. I watched season 2 of Better Call Saul and the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters. I also watched the dark comedy series Flowers and I highly recommend it.

6. I’ve been buying things that make me smile: a writing desk, Japanese crockery, books, David Bowie picture discs, a mosaic tea light holder, two beautiful acacia wooden trays and green tea with mango.

7. I’ve decided to let things take their time. I refuse to let impatience diminish the joy of the present moment. My focus is on improving what’s within my control. The rest will come when it’s supposed to come. In the meantime, I’ll be working hard for the good stuff.