Connections

I’ve been thinking about how everyone is connected. I am connected to so many people through other people and it’s kinda disturbing. It’s connections that cause rumours and gossip. My mum has had that situation going and I am tangled in the same string as her. Fully grown adults have been making her feel bad recently, and it’s all through connections. I’m worried that one day the same thing might happen to me; I might end up being caught in a net that I can’t swim out of. A net of people I used to know who remember me but don’t want to because their past is their past.

It’s interesting, isn’t it? I’ve worked out that even people closest to me can be lead down a completely different web and still end up connected to me. Everyone is, in someway, connected to me.

The most worrying but also the most fascinating thing is knowing that I am connected to people the other side of the world. If not because my mum’s best friend emigrated there, then because of some other connection. There are millions.

We are all connected.

A Letter to a Friend

Dear Queen, as I’m going to call you in this letter,

I know you’re struggling right now, which is why you’re distant and barely reachable. I know you don’t have any plans. I know you feel like nothing interests you at the moment. I know you feel low and stressed. I know you’re scared. I want you to know that you are not the only one who doesn’t know what to become.

You’re the smartest girl I know, and I always wondered why you’d cry before exams when you always aced them. But I know why: you were stressed and you put so much pressure on yourself to do well that it all got too much.  You might be doubting yourself but I don’t doubt you.

I, too, am afraid of the future. I, too, struggle to find my ambition. I’m not going to university next year either. If you want to talk to anyone about this, talk to me, because I know what you’re going through. I know what it feels like to not have any clear goals. Of course, there is my writing, but realistically speaking, that’s going to be nearly impossible to accomplish.

I know you don’t talk to me as much recently, and I know you haven’t really been saying much to other people, but it’s important you remember that we all love you and we all care. You are so beautiful and fantastic and I’m so proud that you’re my friend.

Please, text me, or email me, or meet up with me sometime — you are appreciated. You are. I understand how troubling it can be thinking about your future; I’m in the same boat and sometimes I cry about it. But at least I have my writing to let my feelings loose. You really need someone to talk to, I think, though you’re scared to admit it. You’re awesome, Queen, and whilst you’re still going to doubt that, remember that no one else does.

Yours truly,

Lia

Why I Love Me Tag

This award was created by ThoughtfulTash and I was nominated by Em. Thanks for the nomination, though it’s going to be hard to do. 😛

THE RULES (as stated in Tash’s post)

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
  • Leave a link to the original tag creator (ThoughtfulTash) to get a bit more info about WHY this tag has been made!
  • Write 10 things you love about YOURSELF and WHY
  • Nominate at least 5 other bloggers
  • In the comments of the blog post, spread more self-love with compliments to each other! THE MORE LOVE THE BETTER!

Why I love me:

1. I’m sensitive. I mean, this can be both a negative and a good thing, to be honest. I get overly offended by stuff but it also means that I can be more empathetic with people. When I say that I feel bad for you, or hope that something changes for you, I usually mean it — and I’m not saying it out of pity. I’m saying it because I’m empathising with you. I actually have this weird thing that, whenever someone else is in pain, I can kinda feel it too. Sometimes, I’ll even yell “ow!” when someone else gets hurt. xD

2. I care. When I say I care, I’m talking about something different to being sensitive. It’s to do with my veganism. Today, when me and my mum were having a conversation about leather, I actually started crying because so many cars have leather seats and I can’t really escape it. I can’t escape the money scandal either. I’m just a really passionate person and this makes me feel really angry and sad.

3. My family. I mean, they’re pretty awesome, and they’re a part of me, so… 😀 But really, I love them a ton, and they made me the person I am today. Obviously they didn’t want me to go vegan, but when I decided to, they supported me every step of the way. And through all my mental health issues, they’ve been the ones always here, even if they don’t understand all of what I do.

4. My hair. Whilst it is extremely long (and I’m getting it cut very short soon!), it is also very thick (and hard to brush). It means that I always have volume without hairspray, and that I have enough hair to do whatever I want to it. I’ve only dyed it once (without bleach) so it is currently the natural colour of my hair, which is also quite a nice shade, I think. It’s still blonde but more golden than sunny.

5. My pets. They also make up me so, without them, I’d be lost. Today, I’ve had two cats on my bed for the majority of the day. It was nice.

6. My need for perfection. Whilst this too can be seen as a bad thing, and not many people know that I am a bit of a perfectionist, it also helps a lot with my writing. I used to not hand in homework because it wasn’t good enough, at one stage, so it has been very challenging, but it does help with improving my writing skills.

7. My creativity! The reason I write is because I have a body full of creative energy that needs to leak out. My mum uses art; I use writing. It can be hard to want to do a career that isn’t solid — but my parents support my dreams, and they know that normal jobs are a struggle for me.

8. My super-hearing. I have quite a lot of heightened senses, actually (I can’t be in same area as my mum when she drinks tea, I have to wear sunglasses even in Winter, etc) but my heightened sense of hearing is the only one which can help me with some things. Whilst it can disturb my sleep too, I can also hear secret conversations, like a ninja. Although, most of the time, they’ll never know I heard, and I’ll just carry around as usual… on the floor above them.

9. My sense of style. Because it’s my own style, and I’m not conforming to what other people tell me to wear. It’s comfortable and I think it looks nice too (black and white theme generally) and it isn’t forced upon me. That’s why I like it.

 10. My room. It’s so big!

I realise not all of these might have been explicitly about me but I tried. Also, I try not to say too many nice things about myself in fear that I’ll be thought arrogant because that is definitely one thing I am not! haha…

I nominate A New Chapter mainly as I feel this is her thing (all her blog posts are so positive — minus the latest one, but let’s ignore that one…) but I also nominate everyone who needs a little motivation and self-love. ❤

To The Girls Who Wear Glass Slippers

To the girls who wear glass slippers:
does the shoe fit?
Does it slide on gracefully, or did you have to sand your foot again and again – until the skin rubbed off – just to get it to slide in uncomfortably?
Is that glue I see, crushed into the slipper, so that your foot won’t hang out?
What’s that – rope? Tying your foot to it, are you?
It might be convenient to dig your foot into the first glass slipper you see, dear, but is your foot okay with it? Does it dangle or quench for air? Does it walk smoothly, without blisters?

To the girls who wear glass slippers:
don’t shape your foot. It isn’t clay.
There might be a prince around someday, a boy who passes you a glass slipper, and asks you to try it on. He might have the medals dangling around his neck, gold rings tightened to his fingers, money waddling around in his pocket – he might have all that, but if the shoe does not fit, then he is not a prince. He is merely an impostor; a concoction of stolen awards, gold paint, and forged money.

To the girls who wear glass slippers:
if the shoe fits, wear it.

Day in Southampton!

So on Thursday, me and my mum went up to Southampton to watch, at the mayflower theatre, ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime’. I’ve read the book so I know what happens. My mum, however, has not and didn’t even realise it was about a dead dog! First off, the acting was amazing. I really believed it. My mum actually thought it was based off fact. The main character was played very well too. Then there was the abstract depiction of autism, which I thought was absolutely stunning. They used lights and music to create a very overwhelming atmosphere, which was to try and make normal people feel how autistic people feel. There was also a real puppy at the end and I wanted to steal it!!

After seeing the play, we went to the Holiday Inn hotel, where we stayed the night. We shared a twin room which I thought was a bit annoying because I couldn’t sleep very well as my mum is a heavy breather and snorer. But, we did get breakfast there, with a very interesting toaster. It worked like a conveyor belt. You put the toast in and it moved along, getting evenly toasted, and then it fell down the other side and you could collect it. I actually got a piece of toast stuck in the toaster because I didn’t understand how to put the toast in at first. I think someone got an extra piece of toast as, when I went back later, it was gone.

We did a lot of shopping when we were there too, at the Westquay shopping centre (which is very complicated to get to unless you know the area). We went to Build-A-Bear and I made a little gangster kitty, despite the fact I am almost eighteen. We went to quite a few places to eat too! For my first lunch, we had a Spudulike (where I had baked beans). For the evening meal, we went to Zizzi, which has always been my favourite pizzeria, due to the fact that its vegan pizzas are stunning.  This was even better than the Chichester Zizzi I usually go to, as the vegan garlic bread had a lot more garlic flavour to it than the one at Chichester. My mum tried a bit of my pizza and she really liked it too. Then, for lunch number two, we went to The Real Greek. I wanted to try some new dishes so ordered this weird chickpea thing which I didn’t like. My mum told them we didn’t like it and immediately they said “we won’t charge for it”. The rest of the dishes were lovely though — the hummus, flatbread, and new potatoes. We gave them a large tip  (more than the usual 10%) for the great customer service.

I also ordered a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s. I’ve never had a massive American pretzel before, so I was quite excited. I had it vanilla-flavoured and it was beautiful.

Overall, I had a wonderful time, and although it was extremely exhausting, it was awesome. I’d do it again — but not for at least a year!

Thanks for reading this post,

Lia

Sexism

I’ve been thinking recently about sexism and, whilst it is true that we have come a long way, it is still far from over. When I was just a baby (and not old enough for my gender to be noticeable), my mum would dress me up in my brother’s old clothing, which was mostly blue. That’s fine and it saves a lot of money — until one day a woman said “doesn’t he look lovely?” to her. Because blue is associated with being a boy, she automatically assumed I was a boy. From that day forward, my mum dressed me in pink, because that was the colour my gender was associated with.

I don’t know why genders have to be associated with colours at all, to be quite honest. Boys wear pink and girls wear blue. Does that mean the boy is a girl and the girl is a boy? Of course not! Because my mum so heavily dressed me in pink, I actually grew to resent the colour, and became a tomboy aged around seven. I think my mum was fine with my choice of clothing then, though, because I was easily identifiable as a girl. I’m alright with pink now; it isn’t my favourite colour but I don’t loathe it anymore.

I haven’t really talked at all about this in my blogs because it is an issue very sensitive to me and it has made me upset to even think about it, or talk about it, which was why I refused counselling for it, but when I was twelve, I was sexually assaulted. The police got involved, which was very scary for me (I was twelve!), and I thought I was in trouble. The guy who did it never got found… mainly because I was so scared at the time. He had told me it was my fault, convinced me that I was a bad person. I left my school at the time a few months after that incident. I had been getting bullied for a long time but this was the last straw, I suppose, and then I went to a much better school. It still had bullies but I had friends too and that made it easier to ignore, plus there weren’t as many as there had been at my old school.

Girls are told to never go alone in the dark. Boys aren’t. Whilst boys are still at risk, the risk is greatly reduced, just because they’re a boy. Why are girls subjected to this? Why, because I’m a girl, do I have to be assessed based on how I look? When I was at that school, a boy once said (to the girl sitting next to me) “you’re much hotter than her” (which was directed at me). Being honest, I do care about my looks, but that is only because society has told me it is an important feature. So I have a phobia of mirrors. I am so scared of how I look that I haven’t been able to properly look in a mirror for several years. An accidental glance is the most I’ve gotten.

Society has done this to me. Society created anorexia, by putting huge demands on girls to be skinny, when being healthy is the best option. I have a cousin who I care for so much and she has been going through this for so many years and it is horrible to see her suffer. She gets better sometimes but then she gets bad again and it is so terrible to see her doing this to herself. She’s an amazing person, inspirational really, but the one person that she really needs to help is herself.

Feminism is so often depicted as about women being better than men but that is so not the case. It is about equality. It is about school policies restricting girls from wearing certain clothing because it ‘would distract the boys’. Maybe, instead of restricting us, you should start teaching boys how to treat a lady and that our bodies are not entertainment. Our bodies are our bodies: not yours.

There are nice guys out there too and it is terrible that there are some men that disappoint the rest of them but girls have learned to accept this, and it shouldn’t be accepted. Lower pay, clothing restrictions, sexual objectification, poor body-image: this is what sexism causes, and I can’t believe it still exists.

I might be a girl but I am not a toy. My IQ is not lower than yours because I am a girl. My life is not less meaningful because I am a girl. My life is worse off, however, because I am a girl.

Thank you for reading this,

Lia

Am I Respected?

The phrase “respect your elders” gets me a lot because, although I definitely do respect them, why do we just respect them? Why are young people’s views less important than those of the older generation?

This happens to me a lot in my family. I’m the youngest person there and I try to talk but I can’t, and when I do, I get “not now” (which really means “not ever” because it’s only relevant in that space of time, it isn’t relevant later), whilst my parents can talk without anyone saying that to them.

I respect everyone and everyone’s views but I do not get why age gives your views more value. Sure, you’ve had more experience, but the younger generation have a fresher mind. Sometimes, you might miss the true meaning of something without an insight of someone younger.

I am seventeen, nearly eighteen, and I wish my opinions were as important as those of people older than me. Even my brother, only a year older, gains more respect. I think it is because he is more mature and does not have autism (he has two jobs) that he is put in a higher ranking than me. He acts his age, whilst I generally do act like someone younger, but that’s because I am different to most people and I am not as independent as others. That doesn’t mean that my views don’t matter though, does it?

I might be young and I might not be normal, but I still have opinions and I still want them to be heard.

Thank you,

Lia

Not All Cats Are Evil!

The stereotype most commonly associated with cats is that they are evil wanna-be dictators. Whilst this is certainly true of some cats, each cat has a different personality, just like humans. There is this cat down the road that we nickname ‘Mean Cat’. He definitely fits the typical stereotype. He is the cat bully around town. Even Pablo is afraid of him, and Pablo loves cats! He’s the reason Smiler comes home with cuts. He isn’t even nice to humans. He’s just rude.

But then you come to my cats: Diego and Smiler. Diego is the most unconditional-love-giving cat you could ask for. He is always waiting for me on my bed and he purrs as soon as I walk in, nudging his head against my hand and kneading into my duvet. He always gives love. He never got mad at us when we got a dog. Although he sometimes finds Pablo quite infuriating, I think he has accepted him as a member of our family now, like an annoying little brother. He still loved us. He didn’t run away. He accepted our decision and still gave us the love, even when people started to prefer paying attention to Pablo than him. He didn’t let that affect him. He has always loved us and will always love us.

Now, Smiler is the cat that wasn’t always ours, as you might know. He was someone’s down the street, but they didn’t care for him enough, so when he kept coming to us, they basically told us, in other words, to keep him. They didn’t want to pay his medical bills anymore. He is now a full-pledged member of our family and gets treated just the same as the others. He is also very sweet, though we think he is quite old. He doesn’t shower us with the love Diego does but the fact that he chose to live with us shows a lot, even when Pablo came. Diego and him are best pals and they love to play together. Sometimes Pablo even gets jealous and wants to join in!

The point is: not all cats are bad. There are just the few, like Mean Cat, that give all cats a bad name! Cats are quite awesome, actually.

Thanks for reading,

Lia

The Reason I’m Still Vegan

So for Christmas 2015, my aunt made me some ice cream. Everything she does is lovely so I was ready to have it. Unfortunately, she’d made one mistake in the ingredients: honey. It’s the thing that a lot of people don’t classify as vegan (I even got a honey sesame snap bar for Christmas 2016!) so they tend to forget about it. I was having a dilemma about honey at that moment because I really didn’t want to disappoint her, she’d gone to so much effort, and at one point I was saying that I’d eat it — but I couldn’t eat it. Even though it was just honey, I felt so much guilt about eating it that I couldn’t. This guilt rises up in my heart and I know that I can’t change my habits.

There are two types of vegans: health vegans and moral vegans. I’m a moral vegan. I also hate breaking promises and I promised myself that I would not be tempted by anything, so I stuck to it. The few occasions I have accidentally had non-vegan stuff made me feel sick to my stomach with the guilt. I just felt like a horrible person, even though I know a lot of you probably eat it without thinking. I’m not trying to turn you, promise! I’m not like that. I’m the only vegan in my family so I’m around non-vegan substances all day. I’m quite proud that I haven’t intentionally had something but I know that if I realised something wasn’t vegan but I felt bad about not eating it, I would still not eat it, literally because of the feeling I get. I made so many mistakes in the first few months but now I’m doing a lot better!

The guilty feeling even comes when I’m eating something that tastes real but isn’t (vegan scrambled eggs!!!) because I feel like I’m breaking my promise, even though I’m not. I care so deeply for other animals, whatever they may be, wherever they may come from, that I find it easy to continue being a vegan. There are a lot of foods I liked before being vegan, but I know that there will always be alternatives, and the alternatives are usually just as good (vegan scrambled eggs, like seriously try them dudes) and I enjoy them a lot. Being a vegan is very personal to me and I am going to be a vegan for as long as I can, and I’m alright with you not being a vegan. We all have different values and we show our support to the causes we really believe in. This is a cause I believe in.

Thank you so much for reading this post,

Lia