Will I ever feel settled in my age?

I don’t think I’ve felt truly comfortable with my age since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Before then, everyone around me seemed to be in a similar boat when it came to success or social circles. Of course, I still had insecurities around not having done as much with my life as my friend Katie who won an IT award at age 9 (something which strangely still burns today), but I never thought to myself that I wasn’t a ‘typical’ 9 or 10 year old. Everything I had done with my life seemed to me the correct progression of a pre-teen.

Before I got to secondary school there wasn’t the same pressure of puberty, sexuality or exams. Before I was a teenager, I looked around and saw myself in most other kids my age. Sure I was different in many ways to the girls I went to school with, I was a shy tomboy who did barely any extra-curricular activities, but I still had friends and could relate to most people my age.

For some reason, though, the concept of age and what I was supposed to have done by my particular age became a source of great anxiety during my teen years, and has only become more prominent as I’ve gotten older.

Objectively, it makes perfect sense. As you get older, you start to think more about your future, and as a result the future of your peers. You start to look at your friends differently, wondering secretly how accomplished they feel in themselves, and you begin to look up to those friends who appear to have done more “mature” things, even if those things are damaging. You start to look at celebrities differently, no longer just idealising them from afar, but now you begin going through their wikipedia, seeing at what age they accomplished the most, at what age did they “make it” and were they younger than you are now when they did?

It’s pretty much impossible to strive for something at any age and not compare yourself to others. But the feeling of discomfort in my age and in growing older is something that has slowly been building on me, to the point of concern and sleeplessness. I know it’s ridiculous to think about my life as a series of goals-by-age, (dream job by 23, buy a house by 28, get a dog by 30…), because the truth is you probably won’t achieve those goals, because goals change, and life changes around goals.

Even though my brain knows this, and I tell myself not to worry about my age and not to compare every other 21 year old to myself, I know the anxiety will never truly go away, let’s just hope for now it’ll ease off a bit.


On Trump’s Transgender Military Ban.

Trump sure does love using Twitter doesn’t he? I mean, he wouldn’t admit to it. He even said in an interview with Fox News: “I don’t like tweeting. I have other things I could be doing.” Those ‘other things’ are proving to be increasingly scary as time passes.

Despite his apparent distaste for tweeting, Trump decided that Twitter would be the best platform to announce his newest decision with regards to the US military. No official letter, no press conference, just three simple tweets, explaining that, after “consulting with my Generals and military experts”, Trump had decided that transgender individuals will not be accepted or allowed to serve in the U.S. Military “under any capacity”.

It has now been revealed that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other military officials had no idea Trump would make such a statement over Twitter. This is hardly surprising, given Trump’s tendency to not give much thought before he types anything on the site (read: covfefe).

Clearly though, not only did Trump not think about how this sudden announcement on Twitter would cause turmoil amongst military officials and his press secretary, (who could barely answer the questions thrown at her during the last official press conference), but Trump also failed to take into consideration how this vague and sudden statement issued over a social media site would come across amongst transgender folk and their friends and families.

Such a confusing and indefinite announcement have left so many wondering, what now?According to UCLA researchers, there have been an estimated 150,000 transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military, around 21% of the transgender population (more than double that of the general population). How will such a drastic measure change the shape of the military, and how will it affect the lives of trans people serving or preparing to serve in the military?

For now, much is uncertain, but one thing seems clear to me: this announcement from the President shows just how little compassion he really holds for the people he claimed he would protect during his campaign. Whatever he truly thinks about transgender people, whether or not he really thinks they are a “burden” on the U.S. military’s resources, he will do what he can to gain respect from Republican elite, he will continue to make rash, hurtful decisions such as this, and will continue to post them on Twitter to watch the shit-show unfold.

Finally no more essays

It’s frustrating when you’re a person who likes writing, but you have to write about things you don’t care about.

Ok, that’s a little dramatic. I was writing about things I cared about. Well, some things.

I have come to the end of studying what is, in my opinion, one of the most important subjects in our times, and one which in the last 20 years, has been resurged in worldwide debates and has heavily influenced our political views. However coming out of my degree makes me realize I probably should have studied something else.

It’s not that I’m not interested in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. On paper, it sounded great. And I enjoyed Religious Studies at school, I enjoyed discussing the ethics of faith and different interpretations of the Bible. It was a subject I knew little about, and a having a religious faith was something I could never truly relate to, but for whatever reason it fascinated me. I couldn’t understand how so many people could share a belief in something you couldn’t physically see. And I couldn’t understand how this belief had managed to translate into such a universal worship, and in many cases, into such universal hate.

Through studying religion, I wanted to shed more light on the subject, to ease my own personal confusion if anything. And although many of the modules I have taken over the past three years are indeed fascinating on paper, I would say the lack of group discussions and the distant style of university teaching has left me with a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to uni.

This doesn’t mean I will never do any further education – there’s a lot I like about university and the student lifestyle is pretty great in many ways. But I wish I had gone into university without such high expectations. And I wish I had taken some more time to think.

things I like about Toronto so far

Ever since I was young enough to start properly considering my future after school and university was over I’ve had a strange desire to want to move to Canada. It seems like an odd thing to wish for considering that I was lucky enough to be born into what many travel bloggers would consider one of the greatest cities in the world. But even before I truly got to experience what London really had to offer (living in the suburbs was hardly the same as a city experience), I wanted to see Canada because I thought in my mind that I would end up there and magically have a perfect life amongst friendly North Americans and black squirrels.

2016-01-23 15.46.54.jpgI’m not sure what it is about Canada which intrigues me, but when I moved to university which was right in the heart of my hometown city, I started to grow exhausted of London and its ridiculous pace. London is amazing and obviously has an endless amount to offer, but the sheer price and loneliness of the place makes it quite unliveable. There are many parts to it sure, and if you were rich enough it would probably seem great, but it’s so intimidating to live somewhere where everyone seems to be doing more than you and everyone is there for a reason. Going to university in London is more like going to work. Everyone is there to get a job and it can be a harsh place for a student. Then again, there’s not much I can compare it to, and honestly the diversity of the people living there is something that makes me very happy.

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However, this being said, I was still extremely keen to get on the study abroad band wagon and experience something different for a change. I knew I wanted to pick somewhere English speaking (my language skills are a joke), and when I saw Toronto was listed as one of my options I immediately thought back to those days when I was ten years old and looking online at how to go about moving to Canada. Having been here for about 2 weeks now, I can say that I do like it so far. The people are nicer, the streets are wider, it is cold, yes, but it’s overall more liveable, which is a nice change. It’s big enough so that you won’t get bored after a year but small enough that you won’t feel lost in it’s pace. Everyone seems a little more laid back, and the British accent is certainly helping my popularity. I’m glad I came here, even after a rocky decision as to whether or not I should leave everything for 5 months and come back to my last year of uni with potentially not many friends left. But I feel like it will be worth it, I’ve always wanted to know what it might feel like to live in Canada, and maybe now I do know what it’s like, I might come back more a more permanent stint, and actually live my childhood dream.

things you thought were only yours

Whenever I went on a long car journey when I was younger I would always do this thing where I’d look out the window and imagine a man or a dog or some other creature (perhaps a version of myself even), who would be running along side the car and jumping up onto various buildings and skipping over puddles and other obstacles like a real life version of a Mario Brothers game. When I was younger I thought I was the only person who did this, and I relished in the idea that I had created such a unique game. It was my own imaginary world that I had created in the window of the car which nobody else could touch, and I loved it.

As I come up to my 20th birthday, I came across a YouTube video the other day in which people discussed the weird things they did as a kid to pass the time. What was most interesting about the video was the pattern that seemed to emerge amongst these people. For instance, there were three girls who all had a habit of absent mindedly writing random words using their fingers in the air or using their feet on the ground. Their movements were subtle, but definitely there and it was something they all did when they were younger. I found this funny and odd that it had not been explored in more detail before. Then one person described what I had done in the car. He did the exact same thing. What was most surreal for me was the fact that I really wasn’t surprised by the fact that he had done the same thing.

As I have grown older I’ve realised more and more that my thoughts and feelings simply aren’t as unique as I thought they were. My thoughts have been thought maybe a thousand times by various different people over the years and my ideas have probably been shared with hundreds of other people. This realisation is more than a little unsettling. I’m unsure of how to feel about my own thoughts and ideas now. I know that technically I do have my own thoughts that only I have thought because unless there exists a parallel universe with another exact version of myself, there is only one me, and only I have experienced the things in my life from my perspective. Therefore, there must be thoughts and ideas that are completely and organically mine. However, it is still unsettling when I remember that there are literally billions of people in the world who all have a voice and many of whom have thoughts exactly like my own. I’m not saying I’m upset that I’m not special in some way, but seeing other people thrive makes it hard for me to get my head above the water and be noticed.

Basically the world is a scary place and thinking about how many people are all trying to fit into it makes the whole thing even scarier. Blah. I don’t know >.<


Fears I Have About Turning 20

*quarter life crisis intensifies*

  • I can no longer use my age as an excuse to do stupid things/be lazy as I am no longer technically a teenager and therefore should know exactly what I am doing and not make mistakes.
  • I’m now “in my twenties” as opposed to “in my teens” which has wildly different connotations and implications in my mind.
  • I’m just realising that in about two years time I will fall off the educational conveyer belt by finishing uni and be left entirely to my own devices which is scaaaaary.
  • I am entering a new decade of my life, and in 5 years time will be considered at the “quarter stage” of my existence which I am wholly unprepared for and terrified by.
  • My metabolism will continue to wither.
  • I’m not ready to stop being a teenager/child. It’s the only thing I know how to do (kind of).
  • I have a constant nag that I have wasted my youth in various ways i.e. not making enough close friends, not taking enough time to discover my passions and wasting important opportunities.
  • Will birthdays feel the same? Probably not.
  • Will people expect different things from me now? Probably yes.
  • Bills, mortgages and other important adult documents will become ever more present in my life and will no longer be something I can leave my parents to deal with.
  • Being unimpressed or unmotivated is not cool, it’s dumb.
  • When people say “time flies” I’ll actually start to physically panic about my mortality.
  • I’ll start to think about death more.
  • What am I going to do with my life?

Bruce Jenner’s story hits close to home for me

words are all i have

I am a butterfly, not a caterpillar. I am a butterfly, not a caterpillar.

I am uncertain at what point during the Bruce Jenner-Diane Sawyer tete-a-tete that I first reached across my coffee table to fetch a piece of tissue paper. I just know it was not a one-off.

Fortunately, Kleenex is not in short supply in my modest home.

Yes, I wept freely and often as the former world’s greatest athlete shared his story with Sawyer, because he was telling my story. No, I am not a former Olympic champion and my picture never has graced the front of a Wheaties box. I have zero connection to the Kardashians. The paparazzi do not hound me. Late night gab guys on TV do not crack wise about me.

Trust me, though. Bruce Jenner’s story is my story. It’s just that I’m ahead of him on the curve.

He was born with male junk 65 years ago. Ditto.


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