The Right Type?

Who is the right type of friend? How do we know who are the ones who deserve our friendship? What crosses the line between a few flaws that we learn to love, and being a bad friend? And how do we know we aren’t the bad friends?

Friendship is a strange one. Romantic love, understandable. I mean in nature, many animals mate for life. You know, soul mates and all that. Family love is the same, we protect our kind because we have to to survive. But friendship… what even is it?

It’s the people we get along with, that help us get through the day. Make us laugh, give us advice and help when we’re down. The people we don’t get bored of and can be ourselves with. Isn’t it?

I’m recently finding out it’s not always that simple.

Friends can be that. Those are the best friends. The people you can see yourself living with, and maybe you do. The ones that you have the amazing, hilarious stories with that only you find funny. Or at least they’re the people you could make those memories with.

But they can also be any combination of any of those things. They could be all, or just a few. There can be friends that after a few days together, you can absolutely despise, only to make up again after a little breather. You might have friends that you really don’t agree with. The ones who believe absolute rubbish about this and that and are always totally wrong, but at the same time, they make you laugh more than anyone else. The ones that maybe you can’t be your complete self with, but you like the parts you can show them. The ones that really get on your last nerve, but also push you to be the best person you can.

Friendships are so interchangeable. And sometimes more dangerous than romantic relationships. They can be just as volatile or abusive, they can be just as exciting. A new friendship, when you get on well but aren’t sure whether you could really commit to being, you know, besties, is like the first date. It’s like the first kiss. You’re testing them out, seeing if you fit together.

Everyone always says that friendships are far more important than partners, far more important than family, because these are the ones you pick and choose carefully. The ones that need to be there when stuff with everyone else goes balls-up. So choose your friend’s wisely.

There are, like I’ve mentioned, a lot of stuff that can make or break a friendship. In all honesty, my advice is just to stick with the ones that make you feel like a good person, and make you want to be an even better person. You’ll be a lot happier.

Justified Injustice // Poetry Series Part 4

A Series of Haiku On Living

Where is the beauty

In believing we should die?

This is not beauty.

Where is the beauty

In wanting to stay in bed

For days, weeks on end?

It’s not beautiful.

Not brave, romantic, or cute

To wish away life.

There should be light in

Everything around us.

Not dark, emptiness.

Where flowers can grow,

There will always be a light.

There is light in you.

See this light, and you

Too, can live the way you wish.

No one can stop you.

You may feel as though,

This life is weighed on your hands.

That you cannot breathe.

You must know. Know this;

There is nothing in your way.

Do not stop yourself

From living, loving.

From experiencing life.

From knowing yourself.

See the light around

You, and feel the warmth it gives.

You are not alone.

Justified Injustice // Poetry Series Part 3

Ode To Leelah

She. She. She

Was so beautiful.

Trapped, a soldier, a martyr.

She was strong. She was brave.

She. She. She

Was encaged, locked into this world

Misunderstood and forgotten.

Suffered in silence.

Brushed aside.

She is not he.

Lost in a world,

Where instinct

And inside mean nothing.

She fought too long, too hard

Undeserved pain, unrecognised.

She. She. She

Hurt by those

Supposed to love unconditionally,

She is not a beautiful story,

But she was beautiful.

She is not a tragic hero,

But a tragedy nonetheless.

She. She.

She.

Justified Injustice // Poetry Series

I Come From

I come from an easy life,

Lack of hardship,

Lack of labour,

Food waiting on the table,

Teachers waiting in the classroom.

I come from not having to fight,

For my freedom, for my rights.

But I come from “boys will be boys”

And “don’t go out alone”

I come from keys poised between fingers.

I come from fear.

I come from believing

I must be perfect, complacent

Never outspoken, never bossy,

“You run like a girl!”

And “don’t be a p*ssy!”

I come from a world

Where my gender dictates

What I can do,

And more importantly what I cannot.

Be the princess

You cannot save yourself.

That’s for the prince.

Unfunny jokes,

Where I belong in the kitchen

And “you can’t wear that”

Why should I not do

What my brothers can?

Why must I always be the lady

To forget how to look after myself?

I come from anger.

I come from overprotection.

I come from a man’s world.

I come from fear, fear, fear.

Justified Injustice // Poetry Series

Black Lives Matter – Ballad

High in the summer season,

A man is found shot dead,

In the American town of Ferguson,

There is violence and trouble ahead.

A man named Michael Brown,

Always seen as beneath,

And another, wrongly righted,

They cannot breathe.

 

Nothing could prepare them,

For acts so cruel and unjust,

By those supposed to help them,

The loss of all their trust.

Family and friends conjoin,

Their sorrow laid bare underneath,

The fear the white man will return,

Don’t forget; they cannot breathe.

 

Soon enough another,

Is taken, like the rest,

A son, father, a brother,

Unmerciful hands around his neck.

A man named Eric Garner,

Just like you and me,

Was killed because of his skin colour,

Saying “I can’t breathe

Now riots are breaking,

The fight for justice goes on,

These men and women do not deserve to die,

They have been fighting far too long.

“Black Lives Matter”

The hashtags scream from every tweet,

We must fight alongside them,

Because they cannot breathe.

The Bridge // Flash Fiction

Below, at a thousand miles an hour, or so it seems at least, they soar past. Black, silver, blue, red, another silver, another red.

One, two, three, a million more, smaller than your hand from where you stand. Like the moon compared to a thumbnail, you are a giant up here.

Cold, white railings that ominously rattle in the wind. The same wind that whispers through the rusted bars, whistling fear of heights and paranoia as you cling to the metal that shrinks your hands to frozen, immobile props. The same metal that could deceive you at any point. Age is never but a number. You decide not to trust the aged, creaking bridge.

Fear of heights is not what stops, but fear that the height will fall away. Exhilarated, a rush of adrenaline and fear comes over you as you realise how easy – so easy – it could be.

You cling to the bars as a lifeline as you force your resisting feet, step by step, moment by moment, to the other side.

And finally, thankfully, your feet touch solid ground.

. . .

That was then.

This time, the rattling of the bars and the clanging noise of two feet shaking the foundations of the so-called sound structure is louder; so loud.

It’s unnerving. It’s wrong.

For the first time you have seen, there are no cars, no lights, nothing in the distance.

Below your feet, the terrifying yet comforting buzz of automobiles rushing, rushing, rushing, is no more.

There is not a sign of life for miles in diameter, even from your vantage point. Down to the coast or up to the hills on the left, there is nothing.

There is nothing human anymore.

Age Appropriate

I became aware yesterday of how pretentious I sound a lot of the time. Especially in writing.

For example, in my last post “Shedding Skin”, I spoke about my experiences with losing friends and the act of dropping toxic people from my life. And as I was writing, I saw how out of my age I sounded. Kind of just… not what a seventeen year old should sound like.

When I say all of this stuff, I don’t mean to sound like I know everything. I know how young I am. I know I have many many years to come, if all goes to plan of course. But I can’t help but feel as though I know some shit, you know?

We as teenagers are so pushed and moulded into becoming the adults we are supposed to be, at an early age. I mean for crying out loud, we have to first choose what kind of course of action our lives will take at age 14, sometimes 13. I chose my GCSE subjects that I would have qualifications in (that will stick to me for the rest of my life, by the way) at age 13. In Year 9. I hope I chose well. Then it’s A levels or Jobs or University and the adults that teach us all of this make us believe that this will be it. Forever. It’s hard not to feel adult when we’re making such adult decisions straight from the onset.

As well as this, teenagers and even children nowadays are so indoctrinated into the adult technological world that there’s almost no escape. Don’t get me wrong, I love Twitter as much as the next white girl but this advance in access to information means that children are exposed to any number of things the moment they open the Google App.

For instance, my little brother (he’s seven) got tablet for his last birthday, and the Christmas before that, an XBox. This means that, unfortunately for my step-mother, he has constant access to anything the internet can throw at him. And that is a terrifying amount of stuff that is definitely not age-appropriate. (Another example, my boyfriend’s younger brother of the same age once went to Google “X-Men” (as a huge comic fan) and accidentally went for “XXX Men”. You can only imagine what his mother walked in on).

Back to my original point: I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all teenager that thinks they’ve lived through it all and knows better. That’s not me, honest.

But I do actually know some stuff. A word to parents and teachers: don’t underestimate your children’s ability to act mature and understanding of the world around them. I know teenagers who have gone through more than many adults could even imagine. I’m not saying they know best or even know what they’re doing half the time, but next time you think they’re acting beyond their age, just remember what it was like. It could save a life.

“Shedding Skin”

I’ve recently learnt a lot about the phrase and practise of “shedding skin”. The idea of getting rid of things or people that you feel are toxic or bad for you. The principle of: “you need to let these people go or you will suffer because of it”. And I’ve done my fair share of it, most of it in the last 12 months.

Many of my closest friends that I attended high school with did not accompany me to my college (which is the equivalent to the last 2 years of high school in America. It’s not University.). And I made the decision to travel 40 miles every day to go there because I knew if I stayed in my home town, I’d never leave. Sounds melodramatic but I’m flighty and flaky and get bored easily. Quick personality summation there. You’re welcome. 

But back to my point (See? Flaky. Distracted. Damnit, Jess.) the whole shedding skin thing. When I left my old school, I knew I would lose some friendships. It’s impossible not to. There are many friendships you only have because you see each other five days a week (and yes, I saw that on a Minion Facebook post too). So I was prepared. I said my goodbyes, I made sure to keep in mind those who I wanted around. 

I have just completed my first year at college and let me tell you, a lot of unexpected shedding occurred. A lot.

I drifted away from those I expected to stay close to, for no reason other than forgetfulness. And others went out with… more of a bang, shall we say. And I’m still learning the art of shedding skin. Of regrowth after shedding. (Ew. Regrowth.)

Because the hardest part is thinking “Should I really have done that?” “Was that person meant to stay in my life?” “Did I make the right decision?” Because no one tells you whether you’re heading in the right direction with the decisions you make. There’s no green light or thumbs up sign that shows you that the person you just dropped out of nowhere or the number you just called for a catch-up is the right one. That’s the scary part, for me. I don’t know about you.

The Cowley Back Breaker…

This post was written (apparently) a year ago. (Thanks again, Tumblr for that oh-so-accurate date). I remember thinking about writing this on my way back from this particular event and how I could make it sound interesting enough to become a blog post. For me now, it’s still fairly interesting, because it told me a lot about who I was (am) as a person. Also probably because I’m a lil’ self centered and find myself kinda fascinating. But enough about me…

Continue reading “The Cowley Back Breaker…”

Looking Up

This was a post I made approximately two years ago, some time during 2013. I know only this as Tumblr has this funny way of not telling me the date that I posted something. Thanks, Tumblr.

“I have come to a realization. I will wake up every day for the rest of my life being me. There’s no way that can possibly change, in fact it’s the only one thing you can be certain about in life. You will wake up and be you. You will wake up and maybe the way you think, the way you dress, the way you act will have changed but YOU WILL NOT CHANGE. You can’t be someone else, it’s physically impossible.

 So I’ve come to a decision. 

 I don’t have to love myself, or even like myself. I don’t have to love the bald patches in my hair and the gaps in my lashes, I don’t have to adore the little too much leg fat or belly fat, I don’t have to cherish my bumpy nose or my round chin or my too-big gums. But I have to deal with them. There’s no point being unhappy with something you can’t change. And, if you think about it, there’s no point in being unhappy about the things you CAN change either. If you are unhappy about something that you can change – change it.

If you are unhappy, you’re going through a hard time, you hate who you are or what you look like, I’m sorry but you can’t change that. So you might as well stop worrying, because everyone is thinking the same.

There is no point in being upset about who you are. You can’t change. So love it, be proud of it. That thing you’re good at, you might not have been so good at it if that thing hadn’t happened, or you hadn’t looked or felt or thought that way. 

The only thing you need to change is your outlook. As soon as you decide that no, fuck this, I don’t have to feel this way, everything will get one million times better. I promise. 

Sure, you might have bad days, who doesn’t? A bad day doesn’t mean a bad life, and I can’t stress that enough. 

If you are stressed, upset, angry, depressed, suicidal, feeling anything bad at all, even just a little annoyed: you don’t have to be. 

You were happy once, it can happen again. I promise you. I love you.”

I found this looking back through my other blog, at a time when I was really struggling. The words I said as a 15 year old are exactly the same as the type of thing I try to continue to enforce to myself, and other people, today. It was, as you can see, very optimistic. And naive. I know that, and past me knew it too. But it’s the right sentiment, right? It’s not unreachable? The happiness I was trying (am still trying) (and probably will continue for a while) to reach? It’s attainable. I hope.

From the point at which that post was written, I’ve done a million and one new things and met a million and one new people that have taught me things about myself and about life that I had no idea about. And I know that two years from now (hopefully I’ll be in university at this point) there’ll be an infinite amount of other things that I’ll have learnt. I’ll never stop learning. At least, that’s the #lifegoal.

But my original point that I was trying to make over 700 days ago (wow) will always stand. I’m me and I’m not gonna change unless I do it myself. I’m working on some changes at the moment, and to be honest, I’m fairly excited. Because every change means I’m closer to finding the end result where I’m a thirty, forty, fifty-something woman who’s doing whatever the hell she wants, and is happy.

I’m not in the same place as I was then. And I’m not where I want to be. Not even close. I don’t even really know where I want to be. But I’m getting there.