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

Anxiety

I usually talk to my mum; she’s so caring and supportive, but she goes through her own issues too. When she goes through them, I can’t talk to her because it would just be another issue. For instance, she’s recently been having anxiety. What pushed her over the edge was a person she used to go to school with swearing at her when she was walking Pablo. She doesn’t want to have to worry about stuff like that anymore. So she hasn’t been able to go out of the house alone, which is really awful. 

Because of this, I can’t talk to her about my own anxiety. I get so anxious sometimes that I do irrational things and then hate myself. When I talk with my mum, she helps me be less irrational. But now that I can’t talk to her again, I’ve gone back to old habits, and have probably lost friends because of a meltdown I had. When I feel like this, I also kind of want to not live anymore — not die, just not live. Like not existing. If I didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have to worry so much about everything! Of course, I do exist, and I will always have existed, so not existing isn’t an option. 

I don’t really have anyone I can talk to now because I don’t want to bother anyone, especially my mum, so I am just thinking negatively all the time. I hope I can get over this but I know that, from my experience, I get over it for a few weeks and then it comes back again. My anxiety is just always there, waiting for me to mess up, so it can scream at me over and over again. I don’t even have to mess up, I just have to be in a situation where there is the possibility of messing up, which is pretty much every situation. 

How do you deal with your anxiety?

Lia