Friday, 30 December 2016

Not doing very much at all.

This bit between Christmas and New Year's is always weird. Is Christmas over? Can I still listen to Christmas music? Why do I feel this vague, inexplicable sense of melancholy? Will I manage to get up before 9:30 this week? Does anyone know what day it is?

I think perhaps this lull in stimulation after an intense period of over-indulgence makes many of us feel like the fat people in Wall-e. Rolling around eating disgusting quantities of rich food and watching every second of Christmas TV that there is.  I hate any lulls in stimulation, because I enter a more intense cycle of guilt regarding my own lack of productivity than I'm normally in.

I'm always stuck between "allowing myself to have a holiday" and worrying about the entire day I just wasted being disappointed by sales in the local shopping centre. Why, I think to myself, did I just watch 'Greatest Christmas Movies' on channel 5 rather than reading the book I'm really enjoying?

This enforced laziness makes me nervous, but I am making it sound like I literally haven't moved from the sofa for an entire week. For some reason I am always compelled to exaggerate my slobbing around because the feeling of guilt from it is so great. I'm not sure why I'm guilty, as if I'm letting someone other than myself down by lying in everyday. I've actually really enjoyed it, why do I berate myself? I've been on lovely, beautiful walks with my family almost every day this week but God forbid that I remember those as something "productive" to do.

I wonder if one day I'll go to bed after a day of "bustling about", not doing much, letting my entire being rest, and not think "you waste of human energy" and list in my head everything that I could have done that would have, for some reason, been better for mankind as a whole. I think I actually have to train myself not to do that, because for now I have guilt complex about being lazy, and I'm not sure that's very healthy at all.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Religion on Christmas Eve.

I've written posts when I was a younger and naive, and angry in that youth and naivety, about religion, or Christianity specifically, that now I don't feel the same about. I've also written posts about how in many ways I am at peace with some aspects of religion, like places of worship, that I still agree with today.

But on this Christmas Eve when Christianity is very much thrown at me, I wonder if I will ever come to terms with these organised and limited ways of living.

I don't mind the culture that comes from it, or the solace people get from it, or the feeling of belonging I suppose a church (or a mosque or a synagogue etc) community might bring but I mind a very great number of things that go hand in hand with religion as well.

And this isn't a groundbreaking piece that's going to shatter the entire concept of religion, obviously, but there's always this niggling feeling I get when I really think about it.

I think often, in the rare occasions that I've ever attended church services, I am genuinely repulsed by the language of the bible. I'm repulsed by its obvious attempt to 'control' its followers. I'm repulsed by its encouragement of self-loathing because you are not God, you are weak, you are ultimately a bad thing. It creeps me out.

I worry about young children being taken to church groups and services because I see something sinister in convincing them of a way of life, a life which can be limiting and harmful, before they get the chance to work things out for themselves.

I despise the image of Christ on his cross with his bloody hands and feet and suffering on his face because how can so much negativity represent a religion so huge and all consuming and how can it be good?

I realise that I point a lot of what I'm saying at Christianity, because it's the religion I'm most familiar with, and so I have less standing ground with everything else. But I'm not asking for a standing ground, not right now, I'm just expressing a feeling. It's a feeling of unease. As much as there is a sense of calm in a church there is, for me, a feeling of unease.

You know, I can't quite put my finger on it, I just know that religion really isn't for me.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A place to call home.

I have lived in the same house my entire life. I remember when we were younger and my parents were considering moving and I couldn't bear the thought of not having my home anymore. Every new house that we looked at I turned my nose up at. I tried to imagine myself in a new room, but the thought only made me sad and nostalgic and scared.

Eventually we decided to reinvent our original home instead. That meant gutting the whole thing and moving to a rented place in the next town for 6 months. I remember this being very confusing. Suddenly I wasn't sure where home was. I knew that this place was only temporary and so I was able to cope with the being away from the real house for a while. But then, obviously, the real house completely changed its image and its smell and even its back garden. And then I got used to living in our rented place, I'd had one long lovely summer in it, and I felt suspended in the air without anywhere to feel completely safe, completely at home.

I used to believe that the only place I could ever cope with being ill was at home. Anywhere else and I would panic and desperately try to imagine myself in my bed with everything I knew around me. My home was everything. My room had my whole life in it, and I could run across the landing to the safety of my parents' room whenever I needed. Of course I could have these luxuries in any other house, but I could only ever imagine this feeling of security where I'd always been.

When I was younger I used to worry that I could never move out because no other place would feel the same. I'd try to imagine myself as an adult in lots of different, new houses but found myself always wondering back to home. Nothing could compare.

When we moved back into the new old house I had to get used to everything I knew never being able to be the same again. Except it wasn't as traumatic as I'd anticipated. It was still in the same spot with the same views and the same people and the same meaning. It just looked different. And smelt of new paint for a while. Quickly this new old house became the place that I couldn't really cope with being anywhere else.

Weirdly even today I still have dreams in which I live in the old house. I can still walk around my old room, and go down the tiny kitchen and have the tiny bathroom right next to my door. The whole place is very vivid. Clearly that house had a very powerful effect on my memory. I wonder how long I'll be having those dreams for.

Now I do not have one place that I feel completely safe in because I don't always live at home anymore. I have another room in another town that I surrounded with all my things and my memories and I can lie down in that bed and not have to imagine myself lying in the one I'm sitting on now. I think younger Mollie would struggle with that concept. I think she'd feel I'd betrayed the old house. I used to think that, that by moving away we would betray the old house.

I don't think that now, obviously it would be a bit weird if I did. But I'm strangely impressed with myself that I can call two places home. I used to worry about the life I live now so much, even when it was years and years away. And now this new place means almost as much to me at this moment in time as the old one does. And I have nothing to worry about, and that, for me, is the most glorious thing.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Little thoughts.

I'm going round in circles in my head. I keep having the same thought processes. I forget that I've been to these thoughts before and I try to act on them only to see that I already have.

I did it just now. I had an idea to write about writing and writer's block. I open my blog. I did that last week. I've stopped thinking of new things.

Actually, that's technically a lie. I'm only lacking in new thoughts I can develop and process and get something out of. I am full of day dreams and trivialities and little fears and little things. They're all little things, I think that's why I keep forgetting that I've been to them before.

It's funny, isn't it? How sometimes the mind gets stuck in a rut. It's not a dangerous rut, I'm not sinking into anything bad. It's just really very boring.

I'm hoping to get some big, juicy, fabulous thoughts soon. I'm hoping. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Lazy and afraid.

I've got this thing about writing fiction: I can't do it. I can't get myself to do it. I think I'm afraid of it being really, really god-awful. Most of my non-fiction is something I don't think about. I just do it, it just comes out because it's coming straight from my head. It is my real thoughts in real time. Fiction comes from somewhere else. I'm not always sure where that is.

I have written fiction before. I got to 50,000 words of a novel when I was 13 before I became self-conscious and wouldn't dare touch it anymore. I always think of that age as my golden age for creativity. I made short films and wrote stories and cared deeply about what I was doing and about nothing else. I didn't care what people thought of what I did, I just wanted to do it. All my ideas were tangible and I was very productive with them. I remember staying up until way into the early hours of the morning writing a chapter that had come into my head. When did I last do something like that?

I'm too scared to do it now. I care whether it's good or not. I want it to be good the minute it goes onto the page. I want immediate satisfaction from it. I've become lazy, I'm less willing to put in the effort. But the worst thing is that I'm not willing to give it up. 

I have a constant cycle of feeling guilty for not paying attention to any creative writing, putting in minimal effort for half an hour every couple of weeks and then waiting for the guilt to creep back in. I know that I am actively stopping myself from writing. I am afraid and lazy and I care what people think. How do I start to undo that? 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Dark Year.

Ah, 2016, the Dark Year of the West. I think I've had a more emotional response to Leonard Cohen's death today than I did to Trump's "victory". Perhaps because we lost another artist contributing insight and beauty to the world, and yet we continue to gain more hatred and more stupidity. I don't have much to say about Trump. I've said what I think of him. I think I repeated the words "piece of shit" about twenty times whilst watching the election results unfold. If you really emphasises the "shit" with as much disdain as you can muster then it says all you need.

Really I'm not going to say much more because he's a terrorist and I'm not going to say that I'm scared. I'm not scared because I don't live in America and I'm not gay/African American/ Mexican American/Muslim American. I'm a woman, and I lament with other women across the pond that their president hates them. But I will not say I'm scared.

I don't want to polarise, because that is equally as dangerous. I don't want to say them = bad, us = good. It's tempting to think that, and sometimes I do, but that is not a solution. There must be something we can do or say to stop this rise of hatred and fear and ignorance. Do we allow ourselves to consider why they voted Trump? Do we give reason to this madness? Yes. Of course we do. Something in that country, in this climate, made those people vote for an incompetent pig. Why?

I am contributing to the Trump pollution on our social media, I know. But we have to talk about it. We have to work it out. What just happened? What does this mean? What do we do now?

I can't make any concrete thoughts about this. I keep asking questions without any glimmer of an answer. I think we are waiting in limbo now, the western world held in suspense, floating through the air as if in an explosion and our minds are slowing it down and the sound is too loud to make a noise. I don't know what the aftermath will be, but I know you can always clear it up. We are not hopeless, we are just confused.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Toppling on the high seats of our privilege.

Sitting in a room full of white, middle-class Cambridge students discussing the issue of cultural appropriation in literature made me feel eerily uncomfortable. The discussion was lively and interesting until parts of it were dismissed as nonsense which would have only been an appropriate response if every one of us weren't toppling on the high seats of our privilege.

This is not to say that white, well-off people shouldn't discuss race issues - they absolutely should be trying to work that one out - but with a lack of any other voice the conversation feels superficial and very awkwardly distant from ourselves. None of us were going to leave the room and live the reality of what we spoke about. It was a bit like a group of men sitting in a room discussing the rights of women over their bodies and leaving without gaining anything much from the conversation. Mainly because it wasn't allowed to finish. In fairness, we were not in that room to discuss cultural appropriation because it was a lesson and there were other topics to move on to. But, when we delved into the topic of race how much were we really thinking about it? How sensitive did we intend to be? Why did I feel squirmish about it, wanting to defend the missing representatives?

I can't think of how to raise this issue without sounding like I want to ban all white groups from casually discussing race. I should point out that no one in that room was racist, I think most of us felt the same way, but it was the dismissal that worried me. I wanted more thought on it, more working out of opinions and ideas. I didn't want anyone to wave my thinking aloud off as "nonsense" before I'd worked out what I was saying.

I think what I'm trying to say is that what I was saying, and what most of us was saying, was unfinished and so we went away with an uncomfortable question mark hanging over our heads. The topic had so much weight that to wave it off without any conclusion or bettered understanding felt wrong. If we were going to lack representation then I'd rather we talked about it probably. Obviously we weren't going to change the world in that room with that conversation, but we had a chance of developing ideas. I just feel that in an ideal situation we should have stuck to that development.

I feel that ultimately there was something missing. From our high seats of privilege we could have taken away something really cool from that discussion and, well, I just don't think that we did.

Friday, 28 October 2016

The English Student.

If I haven't already said that I now do an English degree: I am studying for an English degree. Someone said to me the other day that they were torn between history and English but eventually decided that with English they didn't really see the point. 'What is the point?' they asked. 'That is the point.' I said, not really sure what I meant but thinking it sounded clever and elusive.

Thinking about it an English degree is probably the most selfish degree you can do. For three years I will swan around reading books and making grand statements about them that ultimately mean nothing whilst my truly clever friends learn how to save lives and how to solve the economic crisis and reverse global warming (hopefully). What do I give back from learning how to read?

Reading English is selfish because you're there to improve your own understanding of the world around you, of literature and of ideas and of human emotions. Here I am trying to improve my own brain, so far for the good of only me. How do I return the favour of an improved brain?

I know I'm a first year, and worrying about what comes next is futile, and I'm not even really worrying. I think I'm just wondering why I'm here. What am I getting from this for £9000 a year? Why did I choose this course? Who will it make me at the end of it?

I bloody love reading so that's the main reason I'm here. I love Shakespeare and Donne and Spark and Larkin and all of them. I love all of them even if they're rubbish. I'm here to work out if they're rubbish. I'm here to work out why I like them. I'm here to think and think and think about it all. And that is selfish, and I haven't worked out its meaning yet, but for now I really don't have to.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Oversharing is my best flaw.

I think if I were to pick a person in my life who definitely 'overshared' their stories, their opinions, their anxieties it would be me. It would obviously be me; I write about subjects that deeply trouble me and share it on the Internet where I can never take it back. Oversharing is my best flaw. 

Is it a flaw? I get a lot from it. I connect with people and create friendships through sharing. I tell people openly about my life and the way I am because that is how I understand them. Obviously I don't tell them anything intimate, but I also don't hold anything back. If I keep things to myself, things that worry me, it makes me ill.

I also share a lot on this blog, and in other writing, because I am not ashamed of it. Everything I write about is something that I want other people to know. Last week I spent a while thinking about whether I should publish a post because I was scared that it was too much. I shared moments of real vulnerability that had happened behind closed doors with people I barely knew. I didn't want it to be whiney, either; "oh poor me, pity me, pity me." I just wanted to write about it, to express it, and to share whatever came out. I made the right decision; sharing brought me kindness and friendship and connection. I regret nothing in that post. 

I share myself with people because I enjoy the connectivity it brings me. It means I have less things in my mind to be afraid of, because I can release them easily. I don't fear judgement, because it doesn't matter. I fear rejection, because it makes me vulnerable. But still, I believe, I am better open to the world, arms stretched, ready to take everything in. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Firstly there's panic.

I think I've written enough about my anxious disposition for it to be very clear how terrifying coming to university would be for me. I think it's terrifying for most people. Here is the room you will live in for the next year; here are the people you will be friends with for the next three years; here is the false start of your adult life. I just wasn't expecting to revert to such heightened anxiety as I would feel as a child.

I thought on the first day that the crying when my parents left (on their part too) was pretty minimal for what I could be feeling. I thought on the second day when I felt quite hungover that I was bravely ignoring the tension in the pit of my stomach reminding me of past school residential trips. I was terrified of school residential trips.

On the third day, however, I realised pretty quickly that I was absolutely not okay with being in this strange new place, with these nice but unknown new people, and I felt almost drowned with the terror that came with this realisation. Or did the terror come before?

I went to my new, strange room to experience old, recognisable panic attacks and begged my parents to come and take me home. I went to this room to sob about the horrible strangeness of it all, and I locked myself in the toilet to do the same. I rushed passed people filing into the drugs and alcohol talk, telling them I'd only be a second, whilst desperately hoping the nurse would give me a good enough excuse not to cry in front of a room full of people. I burst into tears as soon as I entered the nurse's office. I couldn't tell her why I was there for a good few minutes. All I could say was "I'm so embarrassed, I'm so sorry."

Mum kept offering to come and see me, to come and calm me down. I was too scared that if she did I wouldn't be able to let her go without me. That I'd pack up the car and demand she take me home.

Eventually, after the fourth time I called her crying that day she made the decision for me. "Don't worry about wanting to come home," she said, "I wouldn't let you anyway."

An hour and a half later she was there. I calmed down for a moment, but I'd made myself so sick with worrying that I'd entered that vicious cycle of fear = illness = fear = illness. I begged her to stay the night, I was absolutely paralysed with panic. We spent the night watching iPlayer on her phone using 3G and she coped with the noise from a corridor inhabited with new freshers late into the night and then we finally fell asleep.

And then, in the morning when I woke up and she was getting ready to drive back home I realised I was very, very calm. I didn't feel physically sick with anxiety. I was going to let her leave without me, I didn't even question it.

Now, only a week later, it feels as if none of that actually happened and the emotional twinge from the memory is more like remembering a bad dream. I actually feel happier and more peaceful than I have in a while. The sudden disappearance of fear feels almost heavenly. My chest isn't tight, I don't need to run off to cry every half an hour, I've stopped feeling completely afraid.

I'm not expecting to have suddenly cured myself of all anxiety in the last week, I don't think my life is now emptied of all emotional crises. But I'm just really, really happy that I didn't go home because I'm really, really happy that I'm here. And I'd like to tell all the crying Mollies that it's definitely 100% worth it to stick at it because the crying doesn't last. The fear doesn't last, it never does. I think I'm learning to remember that.

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Fascination with objects and things just for the way they feel and look is good for the part of your mind that processes shapes and colours. I have no science behind that, just experience. Enjoying craftsmanship and invention and design just because it exists feels very... pleasant.

Today when we drove home from one of those beautiful, harmonised family days out the sunlight was so awesomely clear that it illuminated one of the most magnificent rainbows I've ever seen. The colours, too vibrant to be real, were fantastic. We enjoyed looking at it, a full and exciting scene for our eyes.

We'd been at a house full of a collection of 'things' that had been collected just for the pure enjoyment of them. Tiny figures carved from bones, strange paintings, doll's houses, jars of exotic beetles coloured like gems. Everything was brilliant, just because they were. The house was meant for people to have an adventure in each room, to spend time just looking around and discovering bizarre and wonderful objects.

Fascination with what the world has to offer you is healthy and it is good. It means you are alive, and you are using every part of yourself to take that all in.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Bodies are cool.

I am fascinated by but also completely ignorant of the human body, like most people. I have a general idea of how certain systems work and why but really there are enormous parts of understanding that are missing. The scary/cool/bizarre thing is that huge parts of that understanding are missing from even the greatest doctors' minds too, except they may be closer to working it all out than I ever will be. But that's the thing: I'm walking about in what I think of as a case for carrying my thoughts and feelings without much knowledge for how the hell it's been keeping me alive all this time.

If you think about it, I mean really think about it, your body is the coolest thing you'll ever have. Right now I'm thinking about words in my head and then without consciously telling them to do so my fingers are finding letters on a keyboard that have been memorised and are turning them into words on this page. And at the same time there are white blood cells in my blood stream that are working really hard, doing whatever it is they do, fighting against tonsillitis. I didn't tell them to do that, whoever "I" is, they're just doing it. At the same time as all of this my body is doing a thousand other things working like an extremely complex machine to do who knows what whilst I am sitting here, inside of my body, completely unaware of it all going on. My body is really cool.

We sit inside our heads as if we have any control or any idea about what's going on inside of our complicated shells and we rarely appreciate it. We never really stop to think about the fact that our bodies stopped us from falling flat on our faces without our conscious mind sending a conscious message, or that our skin sewed itself back up after a deep cut because it can, because it's there to protect us. Whoever "us" is. I think our bodies can be unsung heroes a lot of the time, when we ignore the fleshy home we live in. Perhaps we should stop and think about them once in a while, not  as separate to "ourselves" in fact, but just stop and watch our beings be. It's really, really cool, if you're paying attention.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Sugar and spice and all things nice.

I experienced internalised misogyny last night. I don't know if I have done before but I was certainly aware of it then. It was one of those moments where my brain forgot to filter unwelcome social conditioning and I actually targeted myself in my judgement of women, of womanhood, of femininity.

It was extremely trivial, but extremely dangerous, and I immediately pulled back from the thought I was having in shock. I was thinking about a style of top a friend of mine owns. I was thinking about what that style of top would look like on me, what it would go with, where I would wear it. It's a pretty top; it has a Peter Pan collar and cute, short sleeves and an empire line and it's in a delicate blue. I like the top, I think it looks very lovely, but my thought was this: It looks too feminine, you don't want that to be your image.


I actually considered that by wearing that top I would look too girly and therefore not be taken seriously enough. It wouldn't be cool because it wouldn't be ever so slightly masculine and therefore more grounded, more intelligent, more focused.

How dare I insult my own femininity like that. I'm so amazed at that thought, that creeping, sly misogyny poisoning my tastes and desires. Being feminine does not equate to being a woman, but despising femininity acknowledges the fact that female is inferior.

I actually had that idea run through me for a hot second: female is inferior and male is powerful, supreme, superior.

I think I must wear frills and bows and pretty things forever whilst stamping gleefully on the patriarchy just to prove that stupid idea wrong now. But I don't need to prove anything, my femininity is strong and serious and grounded, I won't be forgetting that again.

Friday, 2 September 2016

September stationery.

So the time has come for the summer to end and the world of students to trundle off back to school. Or university, in my case. For many this is a delicious time of year. The air cools, the trees set on fire,  new shoes and new stationery are in order. In fact it's that specific part of September, the buying part, that many find so exciting.

This year I have a much longer list of things to buy. Not only do I get to look through pens and pencils and notebooks and folders this time round but duvet covers and pots and pans are a necessity too. This genuinely excites me. The IKEA shop is calling to me, over the hills, through the wind. I can't wait. I'm going to get a new backpack, it's very thrilling.

And yet, I can't help but wonder if this excitement over the prospect of buying new things is a problem. Why do I feel any emotion in acquiring objects that will ultimately lose their fun new shine in a matter of months or weeks? What I will buy will mean nothing. Ok, so I need a few pots and pans to cook my dinner, and the backpack's going to be pretty helpful when I'm cycling to and from the city centre, but do I need to feel anything about it? Is any sense of attachment to a bag or a pen or a notebook healthy?

You could say I've been overthinking this, and I most definitely have. September is new academic beginnings and I am lucky enough to be able to afford all the pens and equipment I need to help me with that. I don't resent it at all. I just wonder why it feels so good purchase new stationery...

Friday, 26 August 2016

Burkinis and Ignorance.

I was in the South of France when the burkini was banned there. I was on a train and reading through the news on my phone and I quietly contemplated what it meant without discussing it with any of my friends. A few days later we were in our room in Barcelona and the article came up again and they expressed their shock and I responded in a way that I'm embarrassed about.

I said: I can kind of understand it, it can be threatening that sort of conservatism.

I've tracked that opinion back to when I was in Turkey on a family holiday 4 years ago and the lovely hotel staff expressed their concerns at the growing level of conservatism in their secular country and the growing number of women wearing full burqas and burkinis at the beach. They felt it was synonymous with an ever oppressive government.

This is what I was responding to when my friends brought the topic up and I didn't give it any thought whatsoever. I immediately regretted saying it because I knew that I was wrong but I was too embarrassed to say so. Instead I internally cringed and tried to telepathically apologise to all the women I'd just oppressed with my own words.

I want to be honest and say how I initially responded because I think that's how responding to something alien to your own world usually works. Isn't it that the first thought is society's ideals rubbing off on you, and the second the thing you actually, truly believe?

So I actually, truly believe that no woman should be told what and what not to wear - especially when it comes down to not showing one's body in public for reasons of belief/faith/insecurity/fear. I don't think I will actually understand why a woman may choose to wear a burqa,  I am not religious and I do not come from a background with those values, but I would never tell a woman not to, because that goes against my own values.

I think I initially reacted to the ban with that pathetic, lowly response because it didn't seem real. I hadn't actually seen a woman wearing a burkini. But then the internet exploded with a terrible story and a terrible image of a group of stern, ignorant looking policemen standing around a woman as they forced her to undress on the beach. Suddenly the ban was real and women in France were not free. Muslim women in France were not free, let me correct myself.

The entire concept of not letting women who choose to wear burqas onto the beach to enjoy the sun and the summer and the sea breeze is just as oppressive, just as dehumanising as an extremist Islamic state. Forcing a woman to undress herself is just as abusive, just as humiliating, just as horrifying.

I'm learning that an ever oppressive government does not just force women to cover their faces and hair and bodies, it forces women to expose themselves and undress their beliefs and values in front of an entire beach of people. In front of mean, careless, insensitive policemen.

Liberté Fraternité Egalité? I'm not buying any of it.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Being afraid.

I have achieved a number of things in the last few months of this year. Some of them more obvious and conventional than others. One of them an extreme emotional challenge for myself.

I became ill with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) when I was 7 years old. I find it hard to describe because I'm lucky enough not to remember why I was unwell, or how the symptoms affected me. My parents are unfortunate enough to remember that. I remember books that my mum had on the illness, as she tried to understand what was happening to me, and various children's groups she signed me up to, one of which I received birthday cards from, to help me understand what was happening to me. I didn't really go to school properly for two years, from year 2 to year 3, and in the years after that I would miss almost months at a time. I remember two women who would come to teach me occasionally at home, and I think that's how I learnt the handwriting and advanced reading skills that everyone else was learning at school.

The thing I remember most from this illness, the thing I can find most haunting, is the clinical anxiety that came with it and followed me all the way to where I am now. I am not clinically diagnosed with anxiety anymore, thank god, but it still turns up in my mind when I'm vulnerable and attempts to make everything a complete catastrophe.

I have memories of this anxiety that I'm not going to share yet, because they're horrible and they make me sad. Maybe I'll write about them one day, in some fiction where it's easier to describe such painful, irrational fear. Today I'm going to write about a good memory; one of my biggest achievements to date.

Most of my anxiety was about leaving home, leaving the country and being away from my mum. I just spent 3 weeks travelling through Europe without my mum, and I am completely alive and well to tell the tale. I can't really explain to you how cool that is.

I've been extremely anxious this summer, because that part of me will never really go away and will come back in occasional, unasked for waves. I think this wave came because of exam stress, but in any case I felt small and vulnerable as all the helpless feelings from my childhood that I haven't really felt for a few years came back in buckets.

One thing I am now lucky enough to have is the ability to deal with such intense emotion, but that doesn't make it in any way a walk in the park. Some of this year's joyous ball of fear arrived on the plane to Greece for a family holiday, it remained for a few days and waned as the week came to an end. I spent some of the nights shaking and seizing up and crying as random and pointless anxiety crept up on me again. I found it really scary, because the next week my mum wouldn't be there to soothe me and I'd be in an unknown, cheap Airbnb or hostel possibly not being able to deal with it.

But here's the thing, I totally was able to deal with it. And I faced every worst fear I've ever had in one go. And I didn't die.

The three weeks away with my wonderful friends made me feel constantly tense and afraid and it felt like more times than not my chest was tight and the world was like when Alice falls down the rabbit hole and everything floats past her and she doesn't know where she'll end up. I had food poisoning in Split which forced me to deal with everything I've spent my entire life desperately trying to avoid and I now have a great memory of myself on the awful toilet floor of a ferry, crying to my mum on the phone, vomiting every 15 minutes.

But I did it. I did it. I did it. I did it. I had the most crazy, amazing, bizarre time and I love my friends and we did it together. We made it to every train and every accommodation and survived wild nights in strange new cities.

I keep having this strange desire to run back through time and tell younger Mollie what she did, what she will do. For a very long time she is very worried that she'll never be able to travel, that she'll never be able to go to university, that she'll never be able to leave home. She's doing all of those things now. I want younger Mollie to see me because I know exactly how comforting that would be, how exciting, how proud it would make her. I know that younger Mollie would see everything she's hoping to become.

If only an older Mollie would come back and do that for me now, for the future. But that would lose half the fun, and half the fear. I guess I just keep going forwards now, right?

Friday, 15 July 2016

What a piece of work is a man.

We do tend to head straight to the obvious cause of terror every time we accuse an attack before we know the truth. It is almost understandable, such is the current climate of things. But it is absolutely unforgivable to quote and give value to a nasty, unthinking islamophobe in the moments before we know the cause of each tragedy. Or even after we've worked out the facts. 

You'll notice that we quote him less when tragedies occur outside our western bubble despite being for the same "reason" as our own interspersed attacks. That'll be because those events do not affect his presidential campaign. They do not help him fear monger. Those who are scared of Muslims do not care about Muslim countries. 

I highly doubt he actually cares about the 84 dead in last night's occurrence. I doubt he cares about French culture, how this affects French lives, French government. He won't mention that some of those who died, who were equally celebrating on Bastille day, were also Muslim. He won't mention that he doesn't actually know why the killer has done what he's done. We don't know what kind of terror he was inflicting yet.

It's important to remember that if these types of attacks are going to happen that we refrain from scapegoating innocent people. Millions of innocent people who are just as horrified by such tragedies as the next white Christian. It's important that we ignore a certain orange (white) member of our own western terrorist group. I'm shocked that in several of the articles from large tabloids that have come up on my newsfeed this morning it was deemed necessary in their live online reports to mention what Donald Trump had said on the matter. What relevance was this? I'm sure most of us can imagine what he would like to say about this incident, and most of us would prefer to steer clear of him given his absolute ignorance on the matter. He's not an expert, or a sensible ally of France, he's not yet a world leader - thank god. He's a racist, narcissistic, islamophobic, nasty piece of work who we absolutely should be turning our backs on most obviously in moments like this. Stop feeding him what he wants. Stop laughing at those horrible things he says. Ignore him, remove his power. Focus on someone else. 

Donald Trump will never have anything useful, or informative, or inspiring to say about occurrences like these. There is no point in making him a part of an important report of unfolding events. He wasn't there. He's not intelligent and worldly. He's an idiot. No one should be listening to idiots. 

Friday, 8 July 2016

Mindless in the midst of it all.

It seems that British politics over the last few weeks has disassembled itself and rearranged its pieces without actually putting itself back together yet. It's like someone has taken a puzzle, albeit with bits already missing and the picture uglier than one would wish a puzzle to be, and has broken it up in their hands, thrown it up in the air and gone "ha ha ha".

Actually its quite interesting to watch this process take place. This accidental reshuffling of the entire House of Commons. It means, in a long and arduous process, that change is coming and that could be good.

As an 18 year old with a current occupation as 'waste of space' in her A Level summer holiday there is not much I can do. I have friends who are worried about it and who are very distressed at the situation, which is understandable, but there is not much they can do either. They can discuss, and form new ideas, and hypothesise, and plan for a new future, but until this all blows over we're at a loss for which pieces we need to be picking up.

I have to say I'm actually trying my best to ignore this fascinating turn of events so that I can enjoy my summer. I've waited bloody ages for this, I don't want to have to worry about the future of British politics. I'm lucky that I have parents who will discuss the situation with me. It reassures me, and informs me that not absolutely everything is going tits up. Well, it is. But that's also ok.

I'm just going to sit back and relax whilst politics tries to remain the same but actually becomes something fundamentally different. I'm going to read books, and lie in the sun, and go out with friends and have a whale of a time. And I'll be ready once I've done that, been mindless in the midst of it all, to work it all out all over again. The political world of my adult life. I'm quite excited.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Stream of consciousness.

It's like I'm always wanting to write something, but I'm not exactly sure what it is, or even how to write it. I make excuses throughout the day to write nothing at all. I'm tired, I've done other things, I deserve a break. Am I avoiding it because I truly don't want to do it? Or because I'm afraid of the result. What if I really can't write what I want to? I want to write fiction. I wrote a lot of it when I was younger, but now I'm too scared. I avoid all the stories in my head so that I don't have to write them down. I have ideas, I just don't know how they will form on the page. I can't get my words to come out right. What was it I was wanting to say again? Why doesn't my voice sound like the other writers I like? Is it supposed to sound different? Is it good enough to just be different? 

Writing this post won't actually make me write something like a short story today, it'll just allow me to scratch the itch that always bothers me. I can get some words out. It's always a relief. I don't feel so guilty then.

I don't know why I feel so guilty anyway. Id love to just laze around and watch tv without the horrible feeling that I have neglected something more important. "Rory Gilmore would just get on with it", I think as I lie like a potato watching her go about her made up life. See, I want to make up characters powerful enough the audience almost thinks of them as real. How can I do that when I don't ever put pen to paper on the matter? 

I wonder if it's worth going on a course. Would I hate it? Would I feel even guiltier? Or perhaps it would spur me on to develop a different voice to myself in a protagonist. I'd love that. To write as someone else. Someone so separate from my own self. 

I wonder if I'll look back at this and laugh as I hold the first copy of my own book. Maybe I'll look back at this and still feel a twinge of guilt. I just wish I would get off my backside and do something.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Giving the finger and moving on to better things.

I went out with my friends last night and I had managed to forget about the referendum until someone got a news alert on their phone of the most recent poll. It was 1:30 in the morning, it wasn't looking hopeful, I started to cry on the dance-floor.

I looked across at my friend George and he looked just as heartbroken as I felt. We hadn't done it, we were going to lose the EU.

I woke up this morning, now hungover and still anxious to read the news, to find that our fears had materialised. An entire wad of idiots had squashed our abundant, interesting opportunities. The older generation quite literally snatched the toys from the baby's hands. People had forgotten how democracy works and didn't realise that their vote "would actually mean anything". It's almost as if brains melted yesterday on the way to the polling stations. And now, what are we to do?

We're going to figure it out.

I am becoming more and more proud of my generation. I think we have a real thing going for us. I think we're driven and clever and waking up from the docile slumber everyone's been under. I think we mean change. I think we can cope with this enormous historical event. I want to tell my peers not to give up, that we can use this for our advantage. This may have turned our future on its head but that could be a good thing. That could push us into properly defending ourselves against the increasingly nasty, right-wing government. We are not a right-wing generation, I'm not sure what we are yet. This is our chance to work it out.

I am bitterly disappointed about what has happened in the referendum. I am disappointed in the older generation, in the politicians, in the unbearable selfishness of this whole thing. But I am not entirely in despair. I won't let myself be. Let this shake us up, wake us up, drag us out of bed and scream in our faces from the streets outside. We're the first generation of the technological age; I think we know exactly what to do with that advantage. That is our weapon. We have our virtual world to protect us. I have faith in that. And, if others have less faith than I do then I want to demonstrate its power. I don't know how yet, but I won't just sit here and let this wash over us. I'll probably write about it, I'll probably try to make discussions happen and open people's eyes. I think that's what I'll set out to do. I think our generation could be revolutionary. I think we can get over this very large and terribly inconvenient obstacle. I think we can give everyone who's let us down the finger and move on to better things. I think I'm going to be doing that from now on.

Thursday, 23 June 2016


I don't know how qualified I am to form important political views. I normally go by my instinct, which answer seems more humane. Is that enough? In fact, I'm still finding it hard to think too deeply on world issues. I find it makes me too upset, too angry, too vexed. I want to listen and watch, but it's so heart breaking. And I am helpless, and my blood boils.

I am almost repulsed by politics. I find it hard to follow constantly. I've never understood those who are always watching, listening, reading about politics. How are they not exhausted?

I've avoided all the televised debates on the referendum because I know it will not help my decision, nor will it have changed anyone's minds, only reinforced ideas.

I don't want to leave the EU tomorrow. It upsets me when I think about it. I don't want to be left in the hands of people who find non-existent problems with immigrants to create a hateful stigma around innocent human beings. I can't be doing with the smugness of the leave campaign, there's an unsavoury arrogance about it. I can't be doing with the stay in campaign either for that matter, it seems meek and pathetic by comparison. I hope we look back on this, whatever the outcome, and learn from it. We probably won't. I think I'm going through my political disillusionment because it's tiring and unending and demoralising. I don't feel very hopeful about it. I can't even vote for the party I'd like in my constituency.

Today will be my first ever vote in one the most important political decisions for years to come. I will be voting remain because I have found myself disagreeing with almost everything that leave has said. That's definitely a good enough reason. I don't agree with the xenophobia, the toxic untruths, the wild exaggerations. The idea that our "sovereignty" will be restored if we leave makes me laugh. Do they mean the sovereignty voted for in our undemocratic voting system? I certainly won't be represented if Gove and Boris are allowed to take the reigns. I doubt many others will be either.

I have no time for the Leave campaign because it goes against mostly everything I stand for. If it wins I will be genuinely devastated. It will be my generation that will have to deal with the mess, most of us want to remain. Where's the democracy in that?

Friday, 17 June 2016

Oh my, oh my.

Oh my, oh my. It's done. It's over. It's finished. My exams season has ended.

It was like ripping off a plaster except slowly and painfully with hairs pulled out and the skin refusing to come off the adhesive. It wasn't pretty.

It feels almost strange to be staring at the blank page of a new post again. I'd had to forget about it for a while. I haven't yet much to say, my brain is still reassembling itself to the me it was before I went into hibernation. I still have that underlying sensation of guilt leftover from a never-ending reminder that there was revision to do. I think that will disappear when I realise I can do fun things again. Like watch TV without feeling a sense of remorse. The little things.

I hope summer brings new inspiration. I hope thoughts form in my mind well enough for me to express them here, or elsewhere.

I'm just going to enjoy the relief for now. Thank goodness.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

My life for 13 years comes to its end.

I left school officially yesterday. Well, I still have to return for exams and the dreaded results day. It was strange; I expected to feel sadder, more nostalgic but instead I went through the day as if it were normal (apart from the convict outfits, the horse in the headteacher's parking space, and water fight on the field).

The day was fun and exciting. We all signed each other's yearbooks with messages we'll  read years later half remembering the faces who wrote them. I didn't feel remorse or anguish. I will miss people, but I will also watch their lives unfurl on social media. We won't be so detached from each other as previous generations may have been, perhaps that's why. Perhaps because my sister will still attend the school I don't feel totally distanced from it. Although I suspect next week when I realise I won't ever have any lessons with classmates and a formal teacher we call Miss or Sir I will feel a little sad. My life for 13 years comes to its end.

The people you meet at school are a unique and strange bunch. We are banded together mostly randomly and fight and laugh and cry all the way to the end. All the while dreaming of that weakly envisioned future where we get to escape. I don't know what all of their futures will be, or what they have been dreaming of. It'll be interesting to watch everyone find their way.

I'm excited about all the reading I can do when exams are over. All the parties, and travelling, and writing and thinking (I'll have space to think). All the freedom I'll have. But what an earth do I do with that freedom? What if I forget to do what I told myself to do in the build up to this moment?

I'm slightly scared for the future more than anything. School is a safeguard. For me it has become a form or procrastination. I don't have to face the rest of my life when I'm working hard for exams. But the rest of my life is at the edge of my finger tips now; no waiting and daydreaming about who I will be when I grow up. I am going to be that grown up very soon. I'm not sure what to do with myself. I think I lost my plan along the way. It feels too real.

I don't know what it feels like to abandon 13 years of routine but I'll soon find out. I expect I will feel both liberated and lost. The world is big out there, I haven't really been in it yet.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

What is it to be happy?

What is it to be happy?

I haven't worked this out yet. It seems almost random. I know what makes me happy; syrupy, dandelion sunshine; singing with my sister; walking with my dad; being with my mum. I feel relieved to see my friends, to laugh with them. I like to feel my love for them rise to my chest whenever we're together.

But these things don't always mean total happiness. They just promise it.

The happiness where everything is slotted into place is random. Not everything will be slotted into place, but something feels perfected. This morning I laughed out loud for no reason. I was happy to be alive. I was hopeful for the rest of my life. That was random.

Where does that happiness come from? Can we take a drug for it?

It has lasted all day and I have felt complete. No holes in this feeling. No heavy, leaded heart.

I am excited about this feeling. About its randomness. I like this rollercoaster life. The soaring in the sky and the slow drag at the bottom.

I don't really care where this happiness comes from.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

To my mother, who loves me.

I am incredibly close to my mum because she is an excellent mother. She swears and screams at me when I misbehave, and I swear and scream and cry at her when she is annoying as hell. I remember the first time I eloquently shouted "fuck off" at her in a fit of passion when we were driving in the car and she was probably discussing school work and I decided to untie years of etiquette that I shouldn't swear in her presence because it was the best way to let out how I felt. I think rather than being a moment of extreme disrespect for my parent it became another level of communication between us. Somehow it was a move into our more adult relationship. If being adult means speaking crudely in extreme situations. Or any situation. But it was certainly a move to being closer to my mother, which I feel happens each day, no matter how much we loath what the other may have done. Mum says that she feels safe in the knowledge that whatever awful thing we spit out at each other means absolutely nothing and that love still flows between us no matter what. I think she's correct. 

Why does my mum always know what to say? And yet, sometimes, when she asks for my help I am lost for words. Does she know me through some divine connection for having created me? Can she read my mind? 

My mum is the one person in this world who knows just as much about myself as I do. I tell her everything. I am not one to keep my secrets to myself, so to have another person who can absorb them for me is the best thing I've ever been given. I am never judged, never shouted at, never ignored when I go to my mother with my horrible, hurtful thoughts. I think she could be the only reason I haven't gone completely mad yet. 

I have the absolute comfort in knowing that wherever I am in the world even her voice over the phone can soothe my worried heart, my whirring mind, my fidgeting hands. She can cure my sickness if I lie next to her in her bed. She can take my biggest heartfelt concerns and store them away from my overthinking head when I tell them to her on sleepless, crying nights. 

There was probably a time when I distanced myself from my mother experimentally. Failing to recognise her importance, her vitality to my being. I don't think that everybody has the choice to come back to their mother in some intense and lovely attachment after those lonely teenage years spent rejecting her existence. I did have that choice, and now I sit with the pleasant acknowledgement that in my heart is some powerful, invisible line across two bodies that attaches me to her every hour of every day. It may be a little strange to suggest that perhaps my mother and I are soulmates, but I'm beginning to believe that the notion of such intrinsic connection to another person has little to do with romance and much more to do with the random and perfect compatibility of two people. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Boring boring boring.

Right now my life consists of absolute monotony. I get up, I have breakfast, I get dressed and at 10 O'clock I begin revision.

It is as boring as boring can be.

I begin to think of the 15 million things I would rather be doing than making a spider diagram of Elizabeth I's foreign policy in the years 1571 to 1588. I ignore all of those things, and force myself to focus on the blurring, green, ugly writing on the page. It's so boring it hurts. I fantasise about everything I can do in the evening when I'm finally free from that day's work. But, when I actually get to the evening I seem to do nothing. Too brain dead to conjure up any enthusiasm for something fun. I let my mind turn to mush, probably letting it turn over the things that I put in it earlier that day. My Easter break started over 10 days ago but I can't remember much of what's happened, it's all been the same. I went to Paris, so that memory is stark against the sea of unexciting notes and past papers, but everything else has been one long revision session. I feel like it's Groundhog Day.

I have over a month to go until exams, and a further month after that whilst exams go on. It's going to be like this. All the time. I don't have much brain space for that time. I'll write whatever dull thing comes into my mind to keep me sane. I'm so not excited.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Religion on Easter Sunday.

I feel the need to pray sometimes, or go to church. I'm not religious and I haven't been since I was around 6 years old. I don't believe in a god and yet often I am tempted to go to church and pray; a forced silence and a type of meditation. I really need to meditate.

I don't really like religion itself, not organised religion, and I haven't gauged quite yet why people completely follow it. At this time of year I'm not really into the whole "He is risen" thing, and at Christmas I don't celebrate Christ's birthday. But, as I begin to face troubling thoughts and worries with an adult mind I can see more and more why God is so appealing, why the church is a sort of safe haven, and why churchgoers become a very close-knit community. This is what I have understood from my local church, anyway.

I am lucky; my local church is friendly and open and inclusive. It is a community in itself, and a part of the community outside. It's a beautiful, old, spacious building. The graveyard has a beautiful view over our village and the trees and the hills. It's a good place to think. It's comforting, when you need that.

It is probably specifically from this church that I have begun to see why religion can be extraordinarily helpful to some people. I don't understand obedience to a god, or a bible, when it limits your freedom of choice, or suppresses your desires. I don't get the God part, but I can see why the concept might provide pacifying answers to questions that are bigger than yourself. What I have certainly come to understand is the calm, quiet, contemplative headspace that the church can provide when you're in desperate need of time to reflect. I really do get that now.

Of course, meditation can happen in any place of worship. Or in any quiet room, or on a walk, or by closing your eyes. But the church, or a place for a community, is a comforting thing and I see much more now why it becomes a daily, weekly, yearly routine for those who need the time to think. When I drive past the pretty little churches in the pretty little places I live near to I feel the solidity and the tranquility of its oldness, perhaps my interest stems from the history of these types of churches too. Perhaps others may feel rejected and unwanted by these religious houses, which for many must be true, but in sitting down at the pew and holding your hands together and closing your eyes and thinking deeply about something there must be some calm in it.

Maybe one day I'll walk into one of these places and do just that. Try to find the calm. And maybe I'll walk right out. It's very possible it's just not for me. But, on this Easter Sunday I think I am beginning to see why and that, in itself, is a fascinating thing.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Giving up.

Giving up is one of the worst things you can do. I think. Perhaps not for every situation, but in my life giving up on things would prove disastrous. I have a few things to give up on. My school work, my writing, my friendships, my part-time job, anything that I love. Like most people, I suppose. I could give up on the things I have to do today. I could give up on writing this post. I won’t, because I can get on with things and tick off lists and achieve small but useful goals, but I definitely could.

The feeling of giving up is awful; total disappointment in yourself. The taste is vile. It’s just energy wasted. You don’t get anywhere by giving up, obviously, but it just seems such a sad and silly thing to do. It’s like driving somewhere but halfway through the journey you stop the car and get out and abandon the car and walk away. It’s a bit weird. You’d always ask yourself why you did that.

I probably wanted to share a miniature thought about giving up to remind myself not to do it. It’s so easy to do it, it’s so tiring keeping going. But I must and I always will. And through my life as I achieve cool things because I didn’t give up I’ll always, always be glad that I didn’t.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Not judging other women.

It is hard not to judge other people. I think it is particularly valuable for women to make an effort to not judge other women. I think that women openly judging other women is harmful and unhelpful. No one benefits from internalised misogyny.

Throughout my life at secondary school I have judged other girls for their promiscuity. I have judged other girls for the clothes they wear. I have judged the rumours about their sex lives. I have thought that they were doing something wrong for not thinking like me.

I am getting over that stage of my life now, I try not to judge women in that way anymore. They don't need me to make their lives harder. Something darker has already made them uncomfortable in their own skin, they don't need me to tell them to change something else.

I know that being judged by other women is awful and unhealthy. I know that women do it because they can't work out what is good about themselves so they desperately seek out the bad in others. They look for flaws in faces, bodies, and lifestyles to make up for the problems in their own. I know because I do it sometimes. It doesn't make me feel very wonderful.

Women need other women to support them much more than they need to build walls around themselves to protect them from each other. How extremely lovely it is to give a woman the freedom to live and look how she would like right from the beginning.

It is hard not to judge other people, but we really should try harder.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Internet nasties.

There is a plethora of 'evil' that one can encounter on the internet. Classic examples include vigilante groups, websites vindictively trying to disable feminism and your standard troll. All nasty, all upsetting, all big wastes of time. Sometimes we feel that it's worth it to react against these unfortunate little pockets of hate, but when is it sensible to ignore everything or "fight back"?

JK Rowling is a good example of someone using their online status to trample on vermin. She picks them up and says "ugh look! Gross!", and we look and it's gross and the vermin loses its small influence. Sure, it may not always be worth it but if anyone was going to stand up to online nasties I'd take a leaf from her book.

What Rowling is able to do, which many of us aren't, is seem like the bigger person even when she's not responded completely indifferently because she has real influence. But it doesn't mean occasionally we can't do the same. One comment that pokes fun at someone's mean comment can be enough to weaken its effect. And there should only be one comment. More than that and it's an argument, and you won't be able to win anything against the mindlessness of trolling.

It's hard to know when to look away from something when it angers you. I stumbled across a website the other day that was so full of offensive slurs I couldn't tell if it was trying to be satire or just tripe, either way it wasn't clever enough or stupid enough to be funny. It made me quite upset. And annoyed. And frustrated. I wanted to do something about it, I couldn't find any information to tell me it was just a bad joke, but there was nothing that would work. I was just going to have to be sorry that I'd seen it and put it away from my mind. One thing that did soothe me was that there were no comments under the articles, which I'm hoping meant it was extremely unpopular. I don't know if it was or not, I'm not going to give it publicity here.

This is a great example of the internet bilge you shouldn't react to. It doesn't deserve any traffic, good or bad, so don't say anything and try not to click on a link for it again. It really, really isn't worth it. The best case scenario is that no one ever looks at it and the site is given up on, but ignoring it is good enough.

You can bump into horrors on the internet in the same way you can bump into weirdos in the street, but with the internet you actually have a greater opportunity to filter it all out. You can just ignore what goes on on here, you can choose what you do and don't see. You can work out who's sharing nasty stuff onto your timeline and clean it up and move on.

It hurts to see bad things online. I get angry about stuff a lot. But I have to get better at switching it off when I need to, because it is rarely worth any of our time.

Thursday, 18 February 2016


I simply cannot decide how to spend my hours. 

I want to fill them with something good. I seem to want to add things to each hour like proportions in a recipe to make a good day, only, I don't know what makes a good day. Each hour seems a little wasted. And they either slog on or slip by and I haven't digested it properly. I want time to speed up and slow down. I want time to be used properly. I don't know how to properly use time. I think of it like currency, and I'm trying to save up for a rich life, but I'm just spending it willynilly. Why don't I know how to spend my time? 

I want to always be "productive". Whatever that means. Productive for my mind, my body, my overall experience. Just sitting and thinking isn't productive. I have to be doing something. And not just watching TV. 

I worry that I spend my time busily in order to have days that I allow myself to do nothing. I want to deserve not doing anything. I worry that this makes me not take in the doing something properly, that I rush over it to get to the relaxing part. I comfort myself by thinking I can be at home soon, get into bed and watch a film. That's not time well spent, is it? 

Really I think I need myself to shut up when it comes to time. Just stop thinking about it. Let it pass, don't watch it happen. I worry about time all the time. This must make the days go faster. I hate how time just goes. But I should just close my eyes. I should just read my books, and do my writing, and watch my films and carry on. And time will move around me. And I won't care about time. 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Exploring the idea of humanity at 18.25 years old.

Often I think, at 18.25 years old, that I have worked everything out. Arrogant, I know, but what else is there to be? I feel as if I have gone through the whole spectrum of emotions and I am waiting now for it to go on repeat. I am in a sort of limbo in my last year at school, stuck on boredom and stress. But I have had a glimpse at the extreme in this small section of my life and I fear that the rest of it will no longer be much of a surprise. Is this it? Sometimes feeling very sad, sometimes very happy and then long stretches of very little in between?

My dear rabbit died when I was 12, I have felt what grief feels like and I know that that grief will one day increase tenfold. I have been really, really riled up about the world we live in, but I feel a little tired, because there is always something wrong. I have experienced mental illness. I have been so angry, so enraged that I scream and cry and feel absent from my own body. I have believed in something so powerfully, so completely and then had that belief slowly crumble away into an absence of something that used to be strong. I have had love and heartbreak. I have cried so hard that I couldn't breath, or felt that I would never be able to stop crying. I have laughed so much that I crunched my stomach muscles until they ached. I have had friends I would steal the moon for, and loved them like sisters. I have cried and laughed with them, held their hands, kissed their cheeks. I have grown up in a family so passionate, so mad, so quick-tempered and so full of unconditional love that sometimes it has felt entire lifetimes unfold in single evenings in this house. I have travelled some of the world with these people, seen sunsets in places that are not my own. I have been at least four different people so far in my life and I am well acquainted with change so what possibly could there be that is waiting for me in the indefinite rest of my existence?

Almost absolutely everything. I do not know humanity at all. I have not felt all of its evils, its graces, its quirks. I have not even come close. I have gently dipped my toe in the water thus far, maybe my entire foot is in now, but I am yet to immerse myself completely. That happens when time passes, and fortunately that happens all the time. I am only just becoming familiar with the destruction people can create, the torture, the greed that they can feel, the conscious ability to cause another person pain. I do not understand that yet, but I know I will continue to see more of it. I do not have any idea of what love is. Only a small picture of it, I am waiting for it to explain itself to me. I do not know what death is. I am still trying to convince myself it is okay to never know. I am still pretending it will never happen to me or anyone around me. Death is something that happens to other people. Humanity is what is happening to me.

I know nothing. Right now, at 18.25 years old, the world is a complete mystery. I am arrogant to think that there is not much left. There is everything left. I have not worked anything out. I am exploring humanity, but I will never know it all.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Sending out signals.

I love all forms of communication. I am desperate to reach out, I always find new ways of expressing myself. I like to speak well, write anything, I like to act, sometimes I like to draw even though I can't actually draw, I love to dance even though I'm not very good at it. I don't even know what I'm trying to get out to you, I'm just reaching out my tentacles to touch the minds of as many as possible, and for them to reach back. I love long conversations. I learn French so that I can have more ways of speaking, and more people to communicate with. I read so that I can receive other people's reaching out, and so that I can talk and think about more. I have a naturally expressive face so already, without even thinking about it, I am trying to communicate with you. 

Really, I'm not quite sure what it is I'm wanting so badly to say. I've imagined colourful waves and light making lines to and from people, signals through conversation and art and movement. I'm just here sending out signals to anyone who'll take notice. Perhaps I'll learn morse code, or another language. Just ways, I think, to satisfy that strong human urge to connect. Human connectivity, love, that's what it's all about. That's what I'm trying to say. 

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The good, the bad and the famous.

The idea of celebrity is neither all good nor all bad. It's mostly bad that we idolise actual people to a superhuman level and then follow them around in a self-selective big brother. They can do no wrong, until they do, and then we either hypocritically turn a blind eye or ostracise them for making a human mistake. It's okay to publicly humiliate people we've never met on a mass scale because they're famous. "Normal" people just don't have this problem. 

On the other hand, celebrities who contribute their art and insight to culture are often vital to a person's life. Especially a young person. In formative years the people we see, the music we listen to, the films we watch, the books we read all make up the personalities that are growing within us. We attach ourselves to celebrities because they attract us with qualities we like about us, or that we aspire to have about us. Young people who are totally unsure as to who they are need celebrities to make them feel even an ounce of normal. They need role models, essentially. 

I felt devastated about the news of David Bowie's death because I'd let him become a big part of my life. He'd been there in my parents' life for a long time so his music made its way into mine eventually. I don't have anything profound to say about him other than that his fashion, his music, his attitude so completely embraced art that I can't think of any other way to live well. He was there right in the middle of the colours and the instruments and the sounds and the waves of culture, taking it all in and throwing it all back out at us right up until the end. People threw street parties on the day of his death to celebrate that vibrancy of life and art. David Bowie was a "good" celebrity because he did it all his own way, and we all basked in his artistic glory. We didn't all follow his private life like dirty stalkers, but we took what he gave us and that was enough. 

People need inspirations like David Bowie to enhance their own experience of life and art. We don't need their body shape, or their last boyfriend, or the dress they wore to that awards show, but if they're handing out the brilliance of the inside of their mind for us all to share then they are important. We all need brilliance. 

Friday, 8 January 2016

It's all in my head.

I am, as my brilliant dad likes to tell me when I'm down, in total control of my thoughts. This doesn't mean I am in charge of what thought processes enter my head - if I had that power I feel I would have unlocked the secret to life by now - but how I let those thoughts effect the way I react. I am in control of my own thoughts, which means I can let myself spiral out of control. 

On Wednesday I had that sort of dark feeling that creeps up on you out of nowhere and taints the rest of the day with a heavy grey hue. At one point my eyes kept welling up in the library so I had to escape to the toilets to have a cry. I felt horrible. It was like an existentialist firework had exploded in my heart and head. The world was a sea of nothingness, my life was pointless, I was a shoddy human being. And do you know how it felt? Strangely lethargic. 

It was almost as if by allowing myself to self-loath and self-pity I was giving myself a break from the opposite effect of avoiding these thoughts. It was ridiculously indulgent and in itself a ridiculous thing to do but I didn't gain nothing from it. For the least I gained this blog post, but I also realised that my dad was completely right. I wasn't in control of the initial thoughts I was having because they popped into my head unannounced, but I was in control of the amount of time I lingered on the worthless, self-pitying trite. It was all me, creating enemies out of thin air to attack my own identity from the inside. But I was exercising my power to choose how to react, and to be totally aware of what was going on inside my mind. At any moment I could have stepped in on myself and told myself to move on and shut up. Instead I chose to watch and see what would happen. 

Sometimes when I feel the weight of the world sitting on my chest and restricting my breathing and my wise old dad says that it's all in my head I want to scream at him. It's not my fault that I feel this way! And a few seconds later when I've evaluated the situation in my mind and inevitably calmed myself down by not letting my thoughts influence the way that I feel, I'm suddenly a little more grateful for the helpful advice. It still wasn't my fault, thoughts always happen one step ahead of when you're ready for them, but I was aware of them now and that stripped them of their influence. 

We have a staggering tendency to underestimate the power of our own minds by letting our own minds overpower us. It's all in our heads, this fight against ourselves, this letting ourselves down, this frustration over how we react, and we all have the absolute power to just let it be. 

Friday, 1 January 2016

No to the news.

Sometimes, when I'm in a sort of mood, I can't cope with looking at the news. The bad news. I just don't have the energy all the time to let my heart bleed for far off tragedies I can do nothing about. It's exhausting. I am a sensitive, passionate person which means that I really feel for those who suffer in the news and I want so desperately to offer help even when I have no means. Sometimes I'm so sensitive about my own life that adding more anxiety and stress is like putting more and more weight onto a thin layer of ice.

Sometimes even when people bring up topics that I care about but are currently depressing or upsetting I want to escape the conversation. I'm too tired to get angry, to enter a fight against something that will help me achieve nothing. I don't want to let my mind dwell on something too dark. I have often wished for the conversation to move on so that my body doesn't tense and I don't bring myself down. There is so much in this world that I can't solve, or soothe, or abolish. I get scared. And frustrated.

Sometimes I just don't watch or listen to the news. It's not worth it. Other people's unsolvable happiness will not improve my own. I worry just enough with the unseasonable weather outside without heightening that fear with useless information. And it is okay, to not look at the news, or participate in heated discussion every day, because it's a strange business anyway. Developing your understanding of the world is good, caring about what happens in it is good, but making yourself stressed or unhappy when you can't do anything to help is deeply unhealthy. You don't need information thrown at you all the time. You need to take a break, and stop looking at the news every once in a while. It'll improve your mood greatly.