Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Courage of Love

An ominous grey cloud landed on the UK today, leaving in its wake despair and devastation. The heart-breaking news of what happened in Manchester yesterday evening came as such shock to us all, wishing that it might not be true. It actually took me a couple of hours to really register and reflect on what had happened. So, naturally I turned to the only way I really know how to process and express my feelings.

To feel afraid in your home city or country is an unsettling thought. The place we might have grown up or called home, now held hostage by an attack that took the lives of the most vulnerable and innocent in our society. An attack by people who cannot comprehend, nor understand the infinite boundaries of the human soul and spirit, which in the most desperate of times the Mancunian people demonstrated that they have that spirit in abundance. They opened their homes and offered their help on the night of one of the worst acts of terror Manchester has seen. They showed that despite these attacks, kindness will still prevail. And it must.

Those who conduct these attacks aim to break up our society, they seek to rip us apart through sowing seeds of fear into our minds and divide us. What we all have to remember now is that they will not succeed by throwing violence and hatred at us, because we will always respond with compassion. Compassion for those who are suffering and for those who are vulnerable. We must act with love to everyone around us, understand that it is people with a warped view of the world, acting in a selfless way that is not true to the values they claim to be guiding them.

It is almost a year since the day Labour MP and humanitarian activist Jo Cox was murdered and I feel it is quite fitting to be reminded of part of her maiden speech in parliament.

                ‘We are far more united and have more in common than things that divide us’

I really think this is so important to remember as we move forward from this day. It takes courage to overcome our fears, to trust in people and to show solidarity, but it was shown last night and I hope it will continue to be shown in the future. When we act with love and courage, we can stand up to the adversity that we see before us and this, now more than ever, is how we must respond to last nights attack.
the words of Rupi Kaur. My thoughts go out to all those affected by the attacks last night, may they find peace and hope.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Being a Boomerang

So after saying in my last post that I hoped my blogging might blossom a bit more in 2017, it’s taken me until 1st April to actually get my act together and write something. This has been borne out of having an incredibly busy term and realising that I’m not as independent as I might have thought and that it’s also not bad to come to that realisation!

I, like so many other Music students, struggle to say no to things and this term I think I reached my breaking point. I have always thought I could just manage anything, but it turns out I actually can’t… I feel like there’s this expectation at university to appear as though you are having the best time of your life and when you aren’t there must be something wrong with you. Errrr hello? Everyone’s different and will experience university life very differently. For me, I have experienced some of the most stressful times and I know I am not alone in feeling like university isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. And that’s not to say it’s not great, because it is great. I’ve met great people and experienced great things. However, sometimes the nights out, the workload and business of uni life doesn’t leave you feeling as fulfilled and happy as you might have thought. (This could segue into how I feel student support should be easier to access, but I might leave that for another day.)

What I’m trying to get at, is that it’s ok to admit that you’re not ok and that returning home makes me feel better because you get that TLC and safety of home comforts. Throughout first year, I was determined to feel as though I didn’t need to go home and I didn’t need my parents because I was moving out and then I would be an adult and my parents couldn’t tell me what to do anymore, right??? However, even though now I’m 21, I still like nothing more than a hug from Mum and Dad and a coffee with my school friends. It’s perfectly 100% acceptable to admit that you need a break and to reset. I am terrible at self-love - acknowledging where my strengths lie, giving myself time and space just for me - but I feel like I’ve reached a point where I’d like to feel more positive, so I think I need to take a bit more time to practice self-love. If I don’t feel like going out that’s fine! If I’m not getting the grades I want, there are ways to change that and I don’t need to beat myself up about it because actually, it’s not the end of the world. I think I continually forget that university is not just about academia, but also self-discovery. By which I mean, working out who are the best people to live with, understanding budgeting…. (thank goodness for my overdraft) and becoming the fully fledged adult my parents hoped that I could become.

There is a piece of writing by Khalil Gibran about children and their relationship with parents and life. It makes the analogy of a bow and arrow as the parent and child; that the bow must line up the arrow to the best of its ability in order to release it into the world and allow it to flourish on its own. As we start to leave home, we realise we are the arrow in full flight, not really sure where we will land and that can be really scary! I do understand and love this analogy, but right now I feel more like a boomerang and coming home reminds me that although I want to be out in the world discovering things, it’s definitely healthy to return home for rest and recuperation before venturing out again. I have numerous worries and doubts about what I am going to do with my life, whether I am doing the right degree and why I don’t feel like I’m having the best time ever but, I believe it’s better to ask all these questions than to do what I feel is expected of me. There are 80+ years that don’t involve university, so if there’s 1 week, 1 term or 1 year that isn’t enjoyable, I will accept that, try and make the necessary changes and hope that the good times will roll in. 


Dad has always been my fashion icon x