I can’t believe July is almost over already! Only four more hours left. That means I only have one more whole month of summer left and I’m determined to spent it being happyyyyy 🙂
So here are some targets to help me do that:
1. Have an amazing birthday
A few months ago, I pictured my birthday like this: my three favourite people all in the same place for the first time, drinking and dancing to my favourite music out in my garden, eating food, and showing them around the places where I grew up. I imagined it to be the best birthday I’d ever had. Minimalist, but magical. For the first time, I was genuinely excited for my birthday in a way that was not at all materialist. I didn’t care about presents, I was just wanted to be with the people I loved.
But now one will be in a different country, and one refuses to talk to me and most likely won’t even say a simple happy birthday to me let alone be there for me, and only one remains. Don’t get me wrong, I love that one person and it’ll be great to see her, but my plans have had to change and it just won’t be the same as the birthday I’d hoped for. But my goal is to not let the fact that, other than my parents, I have one person in the entire world who will be there for me on the one day of the year that’s mine get me down, and still have a great day.
2. Remember to draw and paint some cool stuff
I’m not a great artist: it takes me forever to create something that looks reasonably realistic, and it’s just so much effort that I rarely do it, and eventually just forget about it. But I do enjoy it, and the satisfaction of putting so much work into something and it eventually turning out better than you’d hoped for is a great feeling! I also want to start experimenting with watercolours again!
3. Remember to practise my clarinet
I just forget! And I forget how much I do enjoy it when I do it for fun now. When I was having lessons and I had to practise so many times a week and for so long, and when I was playing really difficult things which just disheartened me when I struggled for so long, playing my clarinet lost its enjoyment. But now I’m only doing it for fun, it’s a great thing to do, and especially since I need to keep up my skills so I can join an orchestra or two when I go back to university – which I will do for my social life.
4. Keep blogging!
I’m super happy with how my blog’s going so far. I’ve been blogging for less than two months so I’m still experimenting with my mosts, but I’m really proud of it. It’s really helping me work through my feelings, and I’ve met some really lovely people who feel like I do. I’m enjoying blogging so much that I don’t think this will be much of a challenge.
5. Tidy my room
Pfft, yeah that’s probably not going to happen but I’ll put it on the list so it at least seems like I have good intentions.
6. Forget about my ex
Also not going to happen, but it’s something I feel that I should want. I don’t think I’ll properly forget him for a long time, though. Not because I’m still broken-hearted or because I want to get back together because I’m not and I don’t. I just don’t have room in my heart for true anger or hate, and so I will always be ready to forgive him, or at least to put aside my hurt, if only he will let me care for him again, but as a friend this time. I guess a more realistic target is to be be optimistic, but patient. Also unlikely, but we’ll see…
I don’t forgive you but I still love you,
It’s only that love that I want to give you,
I won’t hurt you, or abandon you,
I’ll always be there for you,
Do anything for you.
It seems you just don’t want me to.
I have scars on my soul because of you.
You hurt me so much but what hurts me still
Is that you won’t let me talk to you.
I have so much love in my heart to give you,
To give everyone.
But no one wants me to.
I would do anything for any of you,
If you were sad I would cry with you.
I’d feel your pain as though it were my own,
And I would hold you in my arms as long as you wanted me to.
Why won’t you let me?
I don’t have room for hate in my heart,
I try but despite everything I just can’t hate you.
Some part of me does, that’s true.
But the moment you say you’re ready
I will throw that part away all for you,
But you never will, will you?
Periods seem to be regarded as such a dirty thing. Everyone knows they happen, around half the people in the world have experienced them… yet no one talks about them. Menstruation is the worst-kept secret about women ever. But it doesn’t need to be a secret at all.
I still remember getting my first period. I was 11, in art class at school and I began to notice something… different… down there. I didn’t think much of it at the time. The thought that I might be bleeding from my vagina didn’t even occur to me, although of course I knew what periods were. I guess I just didn’t feel old enough, I assumed I’d have a few more years before I began to grow up. So when I next went to the toilet I got a bit of a nasty surprise.
How could I tell my mum? That’s what I was thinking the whole way home. What should I say? Now, I know that I should have just been outright and said, ‘Mum, I’ve started my periods.’ There’s nothing wrong with saying that. But I couldn’t say the words. I was so embarrassed, so ashamed. Ashamed? Of growing up, of something I have no control over, of something which is actually a gift meaning that I can have children in the future. Ashamed of being a woman. Yes, I was ashamed. And scared.
Young girls are taught about periods in a way which instills in them a sense of that natural cycle – menstruation – being something unclean, and secretive. We were taken away one day from our classroom and our teacher, taken into a different room in the school, away from everyone else, like what we would be told was gravely serious and unmentionable in the classroom. We were told about periods, about what we should expect, how they worked, and then we were sent back to class with the boys and it was never mentioned again in school.
None of my friends at school ever told each other when they started their periods. The only way I could tell was the sound of a pad being ripped open from the next cubicle. But even then, no one ever told each other. No one complained about cramps or tiredness or ever gave any indication about their struggles during that week. Any joke about periods in response to someone being in a particularly bad mood was met with a sassy look if they weren’t on their period, or breaking eye contact and a slight blush if they were.
Periods aren’t dirty. Yeah, admittedly, they may be a bit gross sometimes, but as a topic they aren’t dirty. They’re not immoral, they’re not defiling, they’re not uncivilised. They’re part of life. So why are we not allowed to talk about them? Having to be silent to fit in with society not only generally silences women for no reason, but means that women with menstrual abnormalities often suffer unnecessarily because they don’t know what is normal.
Recently, I’ve been so much more open about my menstrual cycle. My best friend and I complain to each other about cramps and everything else that comes with being a woman, just as we would complain about things if we felt ill for any other reason, and it’s so liberating not having to suffer in silence any more. When I’m older and (hopefully) have a daughter of my own, I’ll do my best to teach her to be open about her periods so she won’t have to feel the embarrassment that I felt for a long time, and I hope that the future brings a time where women don’t feel the need to hide something which is completely natural and should actually bring us together.
I’ve never thought of myself as beautiful. Ever.
Of course my mum tells me I am, and occasionally some other family members, but they don’t count – everyone’s mum thinks they’re beautiful. No one else had ever told me I was remotely good looking; not my friends, not any boys, no one. When I looked in the mirror I saw the same face I saw every day, the same one I’d seen my whole life, and it looked plain, boring. Too round, too chubby. The eyes too small, too deep-set, too close together. Ginger hair. Everyone seemed to find gingers unattractive.
Every time my mum told me I was beautiful, the words were empty, almost insulting, a lie she didn’t know she was telling. I thought that hers was the only voice I’d ever hear those words in.
But then I did start to hear it in another voice. Even when my foundation had rubbed off, revealing blotchy and spotty skin and the shadows under my eyes, with my hair a mess, I still heard those words. I never believed them. If they were true, why had nobody else told me? I was always worried that one day he would finally see me for how I was and suddenly realise that he’d made a mistake.
And then one day, my fears came true. He didn’t want me after all. I had thought that when that day happened, I would go back to how I was before. Unwanted. Undesirable.
But I didn’t.
Society might tell me that I’m not beautiful. My hair might not be perfect; my eyes might seem small and hidden without makeup. My skin might not be flawless; my eyebrows might not be shaped perfectly; my waist might not glide inwards in perfect curves. But I am beautiful. In my own way. Everyone is.
There are so, so many things about myself that I don’t like, and whenever I used to look in the mirror I used to just see all those things I hated and I felt terrible. But now…
I like my smile. Sometimes it looks awful, goofy; way too big for my face and showing way too much of my teeth. But I also know that when I smile genuinely it lights up my face and reveals pure happiness; I know because I can feel it. It might not look it, but my smile feels beautiful. It makes me happy when I’m happy.
My hair’s not ginger, that colour that everyone seems to dislike. It’s golden. It sparkles in the sun, and changes colour in different lights. It makes me different. Unique.
I’m not vain, or obnoxious. I might sound it to people who don’t know me, but I promise I’m not. I’m not trying to say that I’m the most beautiful person in the world, because I’m not. No one is; that person doesn’t exist. You can’t compare beauty; you can’t compare something which is entirely constructed and has no fixed rules, since for every rule of beauty, there are a million exceptions. Billions.
And so after nineteen years, I’ve finally realised within myself that true beauty doesn’t really exist except as something to strive for but never really reach. That is, unless you embrace who you are, and who you will always be. Beauty is a way of thinking, not a state of being.
Everyone can be beautiful if you can just trust, just know that you are, because you are. Trust me. Even if the people around you don’t say it, that doesn’t mean that they don’t think it, and, even if they don’t think it it doesn’t mean that you aren’t. One day someone will see you for what you are and you’ll see that if your beauty is true for even that one person, then it is true regardless of other people think. But until that other person, or people, comes along, you can be that person. See yourself for what you are.
So go, be beautiful ❤
For reasons that truly perplex me, gluten free diets and the idea of ‘going gluten free’ is now a popular phenomenon among healthy eaters, and so many people now try to cut down on gluten when there’s absolutely no reason to do so. So many studies have shown that there is no benefit to being gluten free unless you are actually intolerant to it. Why do people throw away the chance of being normal, of being able to eat whatever you want, being able to eat food which tastes so much better and costs so much less? If I had the choice to be gluten free or not, I definitely would choose to be normal!!
Anyway, all this means that whenever I tell anyone I can’t eat gluten, I’m always worried that I’m going to be judged, that they’ll misunderstand and think that I’m just a health-freak, when that’s not who I am at all. I have to make sure they know that I’m genuinely a Coeliac and that it makes me very ill whenever I have it, and I shouldn’t have to explain that.
This post essentially hits the nail on the head with the stigmas that now surround gluten free diets:
As it is Coeliac Awareness Week, I thought this would be the ideal time to write a quick post about those all annoying phrases that a Coeliac sufferer, such as myself, DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR!
1. “Gluten free is just a fad diet”
Image source: https://giphy.com/
Maybe for SOME people who do not need to be on a gluten free diet, but for Coeliacs, it is the ONLY ‘treatment’ that allows us to feel better and keep our guts from being damaged by gluten, a protein from in wheat, barley, and rye.
2. “Oh you can eat a little bit of gluten surely”
Image source: https://giphy.com/
Nope. Even the smallest amount of gluten can set our symptoms off. Believe me, a Coeliac knows when they’ve been ‘glutened’!
3. “Stop being fussy and just eat it”
Image source: https://giphy.com/
We are not being fussy! Coeliac isn’t like being a vegetarian or vegan, it isn’t a choice…
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In my lowest days, I feel so incredibly alone and unwanted. Something in me tells me that I mean nothing to the world, that I have no worth, that I might as well have never existed because I’m just not enough of anything to have any impact on anyone’s life.
I feel useless because I can’t make proper conversation because I get too nervous. But also because I have nothing to say that anyone would be interested to hear.
No wonder the only man who’s ever paid any attention to me, the only person I’ve ever cared about in that way, the only person who’s ever liked me enough to make me their girlfriend, dumped me after only a few months. I don’t blame him. I’m boring as fuck. What could I really give him other than my body? Nothing. I have nothing. I am nothing.
I have so few people who really care about me. I feel so alone. If I was falling, who would run across the country, across the town, even, to catch me? No one. I have no one. I’m so alone. No one loves me because I am nothing. You can’t love nothing.
I am so jealous of people who have a group of friends. True I have a few friends, scattered about, but for a long time I’ve wanted something more. I’ve wanted a group of people who hang out together all the time, who have a group chat, who message each other constantly, who all love each other.
But I’ll never have that. Never. Who would want me?
When he broke up with me, when he told me that he didn’t want me anymore, he said that we never talked about anything meaningful. That I couldn’t talk about the things he wanted to talk about.
I know that he wasn’t deliberately trying to hurt me, he was just being honest about how he felt. Like I am now. But even though I don’t want him anymore either, and I really shouldn’t care what he thinks of me, I just can’t shake what he said to me that night, because it’s true. I couldn’t talk to him about the things he wanted to talk about. I can’t talk to anyone about anything. Polite small talk is fine, but beyond that…? What do I have that I can say? I have barely any interests or hobbies to talk about. Nothing interests me anymore. I’m empty.
I don’t live; I exist. All I’m doing with my life is whiling away the hours until one day I’ll die, alone, having achieved nothing. My family will go to my funeral out of obligation, bound to me by blood that they couldn’t change if they tried. There’ll be few friends. Maybe there’ll be some tears. But what is there about me really to miss?