Monday, 29 April 2013

Who I really am.

I've been up and down lately, for reasons that I won't list, otherwise i'll be on for pages. Anyway, I got to thinking about what I deserve, as well as who I really am. After talks with friends, I've come to realise a few things, mostly, that I shouldn't ever let someone make me feel small, instead, shrug it off, and don't give someone the satisfaction.

I've changed a lot this year, and I've finally decided who I want to be, as a person. This isn't, unfortunately, a massive, let's-confess-our-true-passions whirl, instead, just a little note to say I'm a better person, in spite of some of the horrible people I've come across lately.

Maybe I am the girl who drinks too much and ends up mouthing off from time to time. The girl who can't walk in her six inch heels but still won't go out without them. The girl who will spend a lot of money on an outfit that will lose any classiness it ever had by 3 am, when I'm drunk and either euphoric, tired or upset, because sometimes you don't need to always plaster a smile on your darkened visage. The girl who drinks industrial strength coffee, loves to write and is passionate about reading. I stay up all night and am no good during early mornings (before my third cuppa!) I bite my nails, and I get obscenely stressed out over stupid things. I hardly ever cry in public, because I don't know how other people would react. I'm a bit of a big spender when it comes to clothes, but I don't think that'll ever change. I've got a group of close friends, but seem to be expanding it, willingly. I'm happily impatient, and a very hard-worker. I hate Mondays and love Made In Chelsea. I never ever stop tweeting. I'm addicted to crime dramas, 90210, Grey's Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars. I touch-text and type, and my parents are always telling me that I'm wasted by just typing nonsense into a vacuum, and my typing skills would actually benefit someone. I can quote Friends, Mean Girls, When Harry Met Sally and  know all the words to Peter Kay's The Tour that Didn't Tour Tour. I go through stages when I just want to be alone and stroppy, I love closing my bedroom door and disappearing for a few hours, or even a day or two. (I swear I don't lock the door for days on end.) I love marmite. I have a short attention span, unless it's something I really am interested in. I have a gawky obsession with The Great Gatsby, and could gladly eat rubbishy foods until I was fifty stone.

I want to make it. Sounds, well, big, doesn't it? MAKE IT. Ambitious, probably. But who cares? I recently thought, why am I not taking Uni seriously? I should have more confidence in myself, as a person, a female, and a Literature and Creative Writing student. After all, why can't I be the one that makes it Big. Why have I got this blasé, half-hearted attitude that my writing isn't up to scratch. For a while after I started my Uni course, people kept saying to me "So, what do you want to do? Be the next J.K. Rowling?" It was as if it was one big joke to some people. I still get that impression. People ask what I study, and when I respond, the divide is infinitely clear. The nice half of the human race, with more than one brain cell to share between them, and a less than narrow mind, replies in an embellished sort of way, intrigued, happy, impressed. I like that. I get a kick out of the fact I do a "proper subject" at University. The other half, well, we've all experienced them, the bored looks, their eyes glaze over. The people that believe we should all go into vocational courses, that leave us with "actual career prospects" and "a steady pay" in our "less than stable" economic climate. I want to jump up and down on the spot, scream in their faces and then thrust a piece of my Best Work into their less than welcoming hands, just to prove I'm not a good-for-nothing, layabout student. Then one day, it just struck me. A eureka moment, as it were. Why can't I be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King? Get a piece of my maddest work on the best sellers list, or reviewed in The Times. 

I get screwed over, kicked and brought down, but I'm ready to pick myself up and get a pint of confidence down my neck. (Not just Dutch Courage.) I want to be able to have something to show for my crippling student debts, late nights, early mornings and tonnes of hard work and inspiration. I want to be able to show all of those people who've turned me down, screwed me over or to made me feel about six inches high, that I'm worth a hell of a lot more than they ever gave me credit for. Whether they like it or not, I'm going to be able to say "I told you so!" with the biggest grin sitting on my face.

So, Who am I? 
Hopefully, in ten years, you'll not have to ask. 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Ugly on the inside.

So much for women's rights. I've lately read an article in a newspaper I probably shouldn't name, the not-so-drunken slurs of a woman who makes me feel embarrassed and humiliated for sharing so much as a gender binary with her. Who is the woman in question, you may wonder. Some call her the devil incarnate, others are ready to cut off their own limbs to support her vile, overly-cruel views. I'm refraining from actually including any definite references to this journalist, or her article's name, as I'm not actually sure it wouldn't be considered slanderous.

The article to which I'm referring to, states that women who have any ounce of self-respect, would diet for her entire life, to allow herself a feeling of accomplishment. While the basic subject matter may be controversial enough, the content is even more infuriating, if that is actually possible. The journalist, in my mind, is an egotistical, vain and harsh woman, who actually has no respect for her fellow females, never mind the rest of the human species. Her self-comparison with Joan Collins was enough to make me want to swear, as if you've ever caught a glimpse of THIS WOMAN, (I acknowledge she's quite attractive) however, I don't believe she, nor anyone else, no matter how beautiful/gorgeous/stunning you are, has the right to belittle another person, because of their gender, race, weight, looks, sexuality or ethnic background. While I know fine well that 'Mrs X' wasn't taking all of these major sources of prejudice on when she wrote the article (decidedly poor choice anyhow) I think that the hypocrisy of the newspaper is also partly, or equally, to blame.

In the latest of her media-sourced attacks, this woman, who angers me indescribable amounts, wrote, or rather projectile-vomited such offensive trash, including the statement that 'overweight is never attractive' and 'any woman with a modicum of self-respect' wants to 'watch her figure' and be skinny. Not only does her bile-ridden article promote an unhealthy, dangerous way of life, I'd even go as far to say she seems to be promoting a lifestyle that could put females at risk of developing seriously damaging eating disorders. It's well known that the media are always slamming us for how we should and shouldn't look, what's IN, what's OUT and what's never, EVER been anywhere near IN. So, now body shape is the latest of her fiery targets.

I felt ashamed discovering that this woman was trending on Twitter after reading her slurs, and was actually disgusted that anyone could even toy with the idea of allowing such a narrow-minded woman to publish such total rubbish. I am a firm believer, that while we live in an age where it's fashionable to be thin, that in fact, as long as you're happy and healthy, we're all as beautiful as one another. There's absolutely no need to thin down to a size zero, while I also accept that everyone is a different shape/size. We shouldn't have such pressure, surrounding and suffocating us, a vicious unconscious whispering "Are you sure you want to eat that?" every time you pick up something not filled entirely with O2. Calories, in moderation, are fine. Why can't people understand that being underweight is just as dangerous as being overweight?

I don't believe that, in 2013, that anyone, man or woman, should be allowed to publish something so controversial, especially in a newspaper such as this one. A (somewhat) trusted outlook. An influential piece of media. A nudge in the wrong direction. While we should all aim to be healthy, I don't believe that starving ourselves is the way to do it. Even model Kate Moss is famous for saying "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," a statement that has sickened me for years, and will undoubtedly continue to do so for a long time. I abhor journalists, models and media publishers who feel they have the right, (and the sheer arrogance) to portray lifestyle and eating habits in such a way.

No matter your dress size, your weight or your daily calorie consumption, at least us real girls can say we are beautiful on the outside and inside, something that said journalist can never, ever say.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

BFU: Big Fat Users.

I hate them, you hate them, everybody on the planet hates them. There isn’t a more gut-wrenching feeling than finding out that someone who you previously trusted, has, in fact, just been using you, leading you on, or just being waiting to blurt out your deepest, darkest secrets.

No matter how many messages you send, smiles you flash or kisses you share, there’s always a distinct possibility that that someone is using you. Do people get a kick out of it? Do they like the attention but nothing more? Are they serious commitment-phobes? What is it? Do they just like screwing around. All of the above seem applicable in my case. I don’t understand why someone would go out of their way to lead me on, and then slag me off, and belittle me in front of their friends. It’s not big, it’s not clever, it doesn’t make you a LAD. It makes you a first-grade douche bag or a down-right bitch, an award that not even the most ignorant of you want to willingly accept. 

Whether it's a guy you currently have feelings for, a friend who you always think has somewhere they'd rather be or just someone who goes out of their way to make you feel like you're second-rate, they're all equally as bad as each other. It's annoying and from time to time, I want to casually approach them and scream something degrading and insulting right in their small little faces. It's an awful, cruel thing to do, and so many lovely, genuine people I know have been screwed over, turned down or humiliated, because of someone they know, and at one point, trusted just a bit too much. 

These people don't even deserve the attention or the acknowledgement they'd receive from a blog post such as this one, but my anger needs to be released in a less conflicting way than throwing a punch (or more likely a drink) over said culprit. Either way, all you undeserving, innocent bystanders, presumably all share my hatred for such kinds of people. I don't know what makes them think they're "entitled" to treat others in such a way, or what kind of kick they get out it. It's unacceptable, ruthlessly vicious and down-right uncalled for, but those BFU's still feel the need to pick up and drop people like it's some kind of sport.

I guess all we can do, as the (somewhat) innocent parties, is act like we aren't even phased by it, show we are in fact The Bigger People, and occasionally (really, ONLY occasionally) give them a taste of their own, bitter medicine.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Don't kick me when I'm down.

The human body is only as resilient as the beating heart, or so it would seem. Humans, by default, are supposed to be resilient, easy-going creatures, who have the ability to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and plaster a smile on their not-so happy faces. But, how many times can you fall before you hurt yourself, how many times can you be kicked before you fall down, never to get up again?

Recently, I have experienced a handful of things, a huge variation of events, which opened my eyes to the fact that I, am not as resilient and adaptable as I'd like to believe. I'm what you could call a pessimist by default, but not without reason. Lately, I've had so many knock-backs (both mentally and physically) that I've found it hard to not dwell on the all-encompassing negativity in my life. Don't get me wrong, I fully realise the extent to which I am lucky, and appreciate what and who I have in my life, but for the last few weeks, I've been totally, utterly and completely miserable. There's only so many times that you can break down before it starts to get to you. I recently lost someone very special to me, which I have previously blogged about, and which I suppose, as it were, the last straw, the final, hard-hitting piece of news that would shatter my soul and my whole belief system, if only temporarily. To say I've had a really bad couple of weeks, would be like sugar-coating Hell, or putting lipstick on a Doberman (any shade) It just isn't right. It doesn't work.

You could say I haven't had much luck when it comes to romance. So much so, that that word makes me draw back with repulsion. For every time I've ever been lead on, or let down, or told I wasn't right, or good enough, I've come to HATE that beautiful thing we call romance. Cynically, I don't believe in it. I don't believe that there's such thing as soul mates or fated plans, written in our stars, because, if there is, why are there so many good people, unhappy and lonely? Is it just simply because they haven't found The One? I've been screwed over too many times to just think it coincidental, or a mere work of fate. It came to the point where I didn't know whether I believed in it at all. I was sat down with some of my friends, and we were discussing boys, and the conversation came to The Keeper, as it were, the relationship that belittles all predecessors. Cue another disgusted face, because frankly, sometimes, it's necessary. There's nothing more condescending or aggravating than when someone who's in a relationship just tells you "you just haven't met them yet" (to paraphrase Michael Bublé.) Especially when you're in a wounded sorta phase. 

I actually blame my ever-so-trusting self. That makes me want to curse in itself, because I feel like i'm being punished for being a normal (cue the laughter from anyone who personally knows me) trusting human being. However, it can and has been said, I have a slight tendency to be gullible. I trust people too easily, and then, for some mad reason, I'm surprised when they let me down. In a world where we're surrounded by romantic, lovey-dovey propaganda, it's hard not to fall into the jaws of The Romantic. I know this too easily. Something happened quite recently that not only maddened me to my core, but temporarily lose faith in that so-called True Love concept. I put my trust in someone who I believed to care about me, and instead, after months of lies and mockery, I realised that it was just one big, hilarious joke to him. This isn't the first, or probably the last time something like this will happen to me, but all the same, it was unnecessarily cruel. I don't understand why anyone, male or female, would lead someone on, lead them to believe that they felt something they didn't, and then, dispose of them when they've served whatever sick purpose that may be.

It's hard to put your feelings on the line. It's even harder if every time you do, you get hurt and treated badly. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, or how long you persevere, there's always someone waiting to spoil your fun, break your neck or kick you when you're down. But, as we are, by default and necessity (with the combination of an open heart and a dash of hope) resilient, controlled little figures, we do what we know how to. We cry when we're upset, then seek consolation. We scream and shout and throw things and swear under your breath, or get drunk and stupid, rely on sarcastic texts and down-trodden glances. And in the end, we repeat. We DO pick ourselves back up, we DO dust ourselves off, and we DO slap a smile on our faces, and show them that no matter how much they try, or how hard they kick us, we will always, get back up again.


Friday, 12 April 2013

Gatsby, the greatest love of all.

Words cannot describe how excited I am that, in a mere month or so, I'll get to see something I've been waiting for for what seems like a lifetime, and is, in fact, almost two years. Studying The Great Gatsby at AS Level, I have a special place in my heart reserved for Fitzgerald's masterpiece. Since the day I opened the cover, it's words have never truly left me, and I can quote an awful lot of it. Revising it for my exam was anything but a bother, as everyone seemed to love it. 

My adoration for Gatsby comes from my undying love for the brilliance of the 1920's, as well as the sheer power of Fitzgerald's writing. His works are indescribable and unless you've read them, you will not know what I truly mean. A novel that is deemed 'coming of age' and I can honestly say that there are books that will never ever, tarnish my love for such a wonderful, wonderful piece of literature. 

My dog-eared copy is merely a lime-green, Penguin Popular Classics edition, although I love it immensely. I went through a phase where I seemed to tell everyone I knew and met, all about this extraordinary man, who lead an extravagant lifestyle in America, and threw the best parties in town. A legend, as it were. The Leonardo DiCaprio of the 21st Century. Charming, beautiful and very famous. There is, obviously, no accident, in Baz Luhrmann's casting of the newly produced, The Great Gatsby, as his wonderful lead, is none other than Leo himself. I couldn't have dreamed up a better cast in my wildest dreams, as I think Carey Mulligan will put on an Oscar-winning performance, like her previous tear-jerking roles in An Education and Never Let Me Go. (If you haven't seen them, really-do!) 

It's a constant fascination to me, as to why F. Scott Fitzgerald wasn't appreciated in his lifetime, as his works are beautifully written, extremely powerful and now, a huge success. There are various references to his own life, the one he actually lead with his wife, and only true love, Zelda, which is shown through his dedication at the opening leaf of the book. It reads:

"Once again, to Zelda."

I love that. It's so romantic. Imagine that, having a novel dedicated to you. Especially a one so thrilling as Gatsby. I don't want to include a great number of spoilers, in case anyone who comes across this just happens to haven't read it (which I find slanderous by the please do read it.)  A life-changing novel, a one that truly expresses that money, can't, and never will, buy happiness, and the sheer importance of seizing the day, not putting someone you love on a pedestal, and the life-long lesson that there is no such thing as too many clothes. 

Jay Gatsby, Daisy and Tom Buchanan, Nick Carraway, Jordan Baker, Myrtle and George Wilson and Meyer Wolfsheim, to name just a few of the famous characters you'll see on your screens this May. I'm so excited, and a little nervous, as I hold this novel with such high regard, that I can't help be anxious about whether or not Mr Luhrmann will pull it off. The Robert Redford version is good, but Mia Farrow kind of got on my last nerve, and although Daisy is supposed, in a way, to infuriate and astonish readers, I always had an image in my head of who Daisy B really was, and Carey Mulligan was, in my mind, born for this role. I have every faith in the cast, the direction and the production team. One of my all-time favourites, a literary masterpiece, and one I'm sure, that Mrs Fitz would've been proud to put her name to.So fingers crossed that this is going to be the greatest Gatsby film ever. I have my '20's flapper outfit at the ready.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Better off? What would they know.

People hate to hear it, but sometimes the person you want the most is the person you're better off without.

It's true. It's one of those, well-known, yet scarcely mentioned facts-of-life. It gets the same reaction as telling someone that they've missed the last bus, or when someone spoils the end of a film. You don't want to hear it. You want to defy nature, hum loudly and close your ears to everything that person just breathed. But, unfortunately for us all, that's not possible. I have a tendency to put people on a pedestal. So much so, that they'll never be able to live up to my dreamed-up expectations, or it would be wondrous if they did. Disappointment breads contempt, or so they say. Everyone hates those people. Those happy people you see when you feel horrible, down-in-the-dumps, the one whose life is perfect, when all yours is, is chaos. It makes you want to scream, cry, throw something off the wall. The same said reaction when someone dares to breath a few words you never ever wish to hear.

"(s)he's no good for you." 

I hate that. It doesn't matter who says it, your best friend, a mere acquaintance  or a family member, it still has the same effect. That self same, gut-wrenching, all-encompassing feeling of despair. Just because you're well aware that your love life is going quickly down the pan, (whatever of it there was anyway).

"That is just like you Harry. You say things like that and you make it impossible for me to hate you, and I hate you, Harry. I really hate you."

The last thing anyone wants to hear, is that someone they have feelings for is;
a) no good for them
b) a total douchebag
c) not interested
d) all of the above

It's horrible. While the provider of this brilliant foresight may have your best interests at heart, for a small moment, you want to scream at them. You want to tell them that no matter how true their point is, you're not interested, or you're willing to put all of that to one side, because this person means more to you than something superficial. No one wants to feel insignificant, used, naive.For every piece of filthy rotten yet from-a-good-place insight, there's a little part of you wondering why this person dares to utter such hideous words. Sometimes you don't need an agony aunt, an adviser or a critic. Sometimes all you need is a friend. Someone to share the good times with, the shoulder to cry on and the one to laugh with.

After all, there really is nothing more hopeless, deflating or condescending than knowing that there's someone waiting to say (somewhat gleefully) "I told you so." 

Always ours, Molly.

This post is well overdue, but there’s a very good reason. To say I’ve had a bad few days would be a huge understatement. I’ve deliberated writing this since Wednesday, but didn’t have the strength or the mental capacity to deal with what I felt I must say. This post isn’t for anyone else. It’s for me. It’s for my own mind. My own satisfaction. My own way of coping. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. Very recently, we lost our family dog, Molly. I won’t go into the details, but we had to make the decision to end her suffering, the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. She was more than a dog, by far, she was part of our family. Loved, cherished, and deeply missed.

I’m writing this because I don’t know what else to do. For anyone who may come across this and dare to utter/think “she was just a dog” then fuck you, because frankly, your opinion doesn’t matter to me. Whether this is articulate or not, I won’t comment on. If no one else reads this, that’s fine by me, because it’s my own.

Anyway, I got to thinking, amidst the crying and harsh silences, about grief. It’s a funny thing. Everyone reacts differently, but there’s always a similar feeling. The loss is unbearable. You don’t know how to react. Are you supposed to cry, or do you keep yourself busy? Do you talk about it? Do you forget and move on? There’s no right answer when it comes to losing someone you love. The excruciating numbness, as if you want to pinch yourself and wake up from a horrendous nightmare. That empty, painful feeling in the pit of your stomach, that makes you not want to eat or sleep or even think. You’ve got nothing to say but you can’t stop thinking.

Over the last few days, I’ve felt so down, so lost. Hours afterwards, I never spoke to anyone. Never uttered a single word, looked on Facebook or Twitter and turned off my phone. It suddenly didn’t matter what kind of support system I had (an amazing group of friends, all ready to console me) because when something like that happens, there is no consolation. There is absolutely nothing that anyone can say to make you feel better. I got to the point where I didn’t want to feel better, I wanted to cry, and scream and lock myself in my room in the dark and be able to turn off my brain and my emotions and just sit there, staring into nothingness. I wanted to be out of myself, I wanted to be someone else, or anyone other than me, someone who wasn’t feeling these feelings, or going through these things.

In a word, these last three days have been horrific. No matter what people say to you, to try and help, it doesn’t. I’d never wish this on even my worst enemy. Deafening silence seems to haunt every step you take. Your family are all in some sort of bubble, this is the only topic of conversation (not that anyone really speaks.) Everyone feels the same yet so different at the same time. The house feels emptier without you. I catch myself forgetting for a split second, then silently cursing myself for doing so. I walk through the door expecting you to greet me, and when you don’t, my heart plummets. It seemed so sudden, so soon. I’m still getting to grips with it all, even if it is reluctantly. I never want to forget you, and I don’t think there’s any chance you ever will be forgotten.

For anyone suffering right now, loss, grief, loneliness. I know how you feel. The agonising feeling of wanting everything to be how it was before. The sacrifices you’d make for their return. The sheer enormity of the hole left behind, that will never be filled. You wish for one more chance, one more day, one more smile, but not for now at least.