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

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

Custom Domain!

As some of you may or may not have noticed, I now have a .blog domain!

I’m really excited about this because it shows what I’m about haha~

This won’t change any of the content; it just means that I look a little more… professional?

Anyway, yay! 😀

The Worst Part of My Mum’s Cancer Treatment

You might not know this, as I haven’t really mentioned it much in my blog, but when I was 13/14, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. Actually, at the time she got diagnosed, I had just started at a new school, so I had to deal with that, my own mental health & social issues, and this at the same time. It was very hard to make friends when you’re constantly worrying about your mum. I did make friends but not very quickly or easily and they were hard to find. I’m lucky I found them eventually but, as I said, I did struggle a lot as well, especially considering I can’t make friends very easily anyway!

She was actually getting a mammogram for a problem she had in her other breast. She felt so lucky that she had that problem in her other breast because it might not have been diagnosed so early if she hadn’t had that. Like I said, it was diagnosed pretty early, which was good, but obviously I still worried a lot about her. At first, they thought she would need radiotherapy, but then they changed their mind, which was good. She instead had to have a number of operations and is still having operations at the moment. A lot of them got delayed due to skin infections, which has been very annoying for her!

But none of that is the worst part of her cancer treatment: the worst part was hormone therapy. This is the drug prescribed to stop the cancer coming back. The side effects are terrible and my mum said they were “like a toned-down version of chemotherapy.” She’s very happy that she never had to endure chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but she’s still suffering a lot. Her hair is in poor condition, she’s had joint pains, tiredness, rashes, and lots of other side effects that really affect her quality of life.

She’s been on the drug Tamoxifen for three years-ish and she’s decided to come off it. It is recommended to be used for at least five years but she just can’t deal with the side effects any longer, and I agree with her decision. She’s been a completely different person since being on the drug. Her mood has been down a lot. I just want her to be happy again — and I feel that coming off of this drug will do that for her. The drug doesn’t even guarantee that the cancer won’t reoccur so, in her opinion, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. I really hope that she can come off of it soon and finally feel like her old self again!

Lia

My Reading Preferences | ‘Would You Rather’ Book Tag

Firstly, thank you Rebekah for tagging me for this. 😀

  1. Read only series or stand alone? I find that, when I get really into a book, and then suddenly it’s over, I’d love there to be a sequel (though sometimes it ruins the whole thing!) but I do mostly read stand-alone books. I love series too though, like Uglies and Chaos Walking.
  2. Read only female or male authors?
    My favourite authors are actually males, though I do like a lot of books written by females. In Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, he was a male writing but he got inside the mind of a female, and I think it worked wonderful. I don’t have a specific preference of gender, though my favourite authors just happen to be male.
  3. Shop at Barnes and Noble/Waterstones or Amazon?
    I actually edited this question because, over here in the UK, our Barnes and Noble is Waterstones. So, I just added that on. Whilst I love the smell of books, and will quite happily go to Waterstones if I’m already out, sometimes Amazon is just so much more convenient. It’s just ready whenever you are. I do get books from Waterstones every once in a while, and that’s more instant, which is nice.
  4. All books become movies or TV shows?
    I don’t really have a preference! TV shows are good sometimes because they last longer, I suppose? By that, I mean, you get the anticipation of each week’s episode. On the other hand, movies are lovely to just get some popcorn out and chill in front of.
  5. Read 5 pages per day or 5 books a week?
    It used to be a book or two a week but now I’ve kinda not been reading for a while. I don’t know why, to be honest. Just haven’t been in a reading mood. Hopefully I will read more again soon.
  6. Be a professional reviewer or author?
    Author, definitely. That’s been my dream since I was about eight. I mean, I’ve been writing my whole life, but I didn’t consider my career path until I was eight. At first, I thought it would be super easy. Just, you know, go publish a book. I know it’s a lot harder than that now. I’m not eight anymore. I’m not the best reviewer in the world; my reviews tend to be brief. I’d just love to be an author.
  7. Only read your top 20 favourite books over and over, or always read new ones? Whilst reading your favourite books again is a nice reminder, I think reading new books is a really nice thing to do and it definitely can help you find new authors or genres that you like.
  8. Be a librarian or a bookseller?
    Maybe being a librarian? I think there are more books in libraries that can be about really random things and sometimes I just go to a library, pick out a random book, and just read it there and then. I mean, bookshops are lovely, but they aren’t as random with the books they have, in my experience. I don’t know. Random is cool. Also, at libraries, you’re allowed to read there, whereas you have to actually buy the books at bookstores.
  9. Only read your favourite genre or every genre but your favourite? Well, I don’t have a favourite genre. I just like any book that is good! I read all varieties of books, to be honest. I don’t even just stick with YA; I read adult books a lot too! My mum usually has some good suggestions for me. So, I suppose, then, I would go with every genre but my favourite, because I don’t have a favourite genre! Science-fiction is awesome, but so is realism, and they’re kinda at opposite ends of the scale.
  10. Only read physical books or e-books?
    Physical books. I have tried reading e-books in the past, and I just can’t get into them! Plus, the smell of physical books is amazing.
    I tag: My Mind Speaks Aloud and A New Chapter — and anyone else who wants to join in, feel free 😛

    Thanks again to Rebekah, and thanks to everyone who’s read this! 🙂