- I lied about all sorts of things when I was young to try and be cool. I lied about having internet when we didn’t even have a computer and smoking weed when I haven’t ever tried a lit cigarette. I lied about starting my period even though I hadn’t.
- Once I did not wash my hair for a whole month.
- I was a Beliber when being one was uncool.
- My accent changes depending on who I’m talking to.
- I failed my driving test more than 10 times. I don’t actually remember how many times I failed. It was again and again and again.
Month: January 2016
Here I am – another Sunday and another long train journey. This time I did remember to bring my book with me. (Though I did forget my headphones). So my daily writing spree failed but I’m ok with that. It didn’t fail due to lack of thoughts. In fact I had a plan of all the posts I would write – the right-media’s attack on students organising against PREVENT, Guantanamo, labelling and measuring of ethnicity, White “militias”, #Oscarssowhite … No, it wasn’t due to lack of ideas but lack of time. So for that I can forgive myself.
Today I don’t want to talk about the world. Well the state of the Eurocentric world I live in. I’m looking into myself today. I don’t know what it is – perhaps the crisp snow laid down on the fields, untouched or my morning spent flipping through my scrapbook from last year – but I am drawn back to all the warning signs I’ve had through my life before things went massively wrong. And all the times I consciously or unconciously ignored them.
One thing dominates these thoughts – my ex. This isn’t surprising since I have seven years of mistakes there. I wonder if it’s harmful to look back on those things. Or whether some reflection is ultimately healing. It is regret. It is embarrassment. It is shame.
The warning signs were there right from the start. I should have known he would not treat me well based on how he treated his ex. I should have never gone out with him knowing he hadn’t yet broken up with his current partner, even though he promised he would the next day. I should have left him as soon as I found out I was the “other girl” and he hadn’t yet even broken up with his ex. Should have. The warning signs were there. I chose to ignore them.
Lie after lie. Sometimes I knew. I suppose there may have been many times I didn’t. Forgive and forget. More like ignore and pretend. I chose to keep living the fairytale so that I wouldn’t be alone, so that I didn’t have to admit that I had made a mistake.
And then I would lie. As he got more controlling and I got more suffocated. Never cheating – never anything I would even care if he did. But he cared. Talking to colleagues and friends from university. Giving guys who were in my workgroup my number. Adding them on my Facebook. Of course he did all those things. He actually cheated on me – three times (yes three). But yet he made me feel like the cheat. I could see straight through the manipulations but I chose to ignore them. Stuck between the guilt of hurting his feelings – is that guy really worth loosing him over? Why can’t I just delete him of Facebook even if it makes me look like a completely isolated maniac? Why do I care what people think of me? But of course I did.
I had boundaries and lines I would never cross. Yet he made me cross them all. Using guilt and a twisted idea of what love is supposed to be.
So, not the cheeriest of thoughts on a long journey on a Sunday morning. The regret is not so much for wasted time. I know they have taught me to trust myself, to not compromise unless I want to and to find fulfilment in myself.
It’s more for the sins I’ve committed along the way. Thinking about it now the guilt drills into my heart and fills my stomach with cold, heavy stones. I trust in my relationship with my Lord and pray for forgiveness. I pray I find the strength to learn from my mistakes and to never make them again. And I pray for happiness – both in this world and the next.
O son of Adam, as long as you call on Me, I shall forgive you of what you have done, and think nothing of it. O son of Adam, even if your sins were to reach up to the clouds in the sky, and then you were to ask for My forgiveness, I would forgive you and think nothing of it. O son of Adam, even if you were to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you were to meet Me after death, not worshipping anything besides Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as the earth. – Tirmidhi
When they try to bury us
They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.
In solidarity with NUS (in particular Shelly Asquith) and CAGE who have been under attack for fighting against injustice. And shame on Richard Brooks who says he is “against PREVENT” but appears to have done nothing but tell people opposition is not the way forward.
Full blog on this topic coming on Monday.
Home is not where you were born. Home is where all your attempts to escape cease – Naguib Mahfouz
I was born in London – in fact not very far from where I live now. I am a ‘proper’ London-er by all lists and calculations. Everything outside the M25 is “up north”, I ignore all acts of friendliness in the streets and can’t stand people who don’t know how to use an escalator. London is my home.
But I have so many conflated thoughts about it. This is my home. I have no other home. But when people ask where are you from? I instinctively know they mean why aren’t you white? But I play their game. London. No, where are you really from? Yes I was right. I have a pre-prepared answer now, “well I was born in London and lived here all my life but my parents were born in Bangladesh.”
It is this other-ing, not just by that comments but in so many ways, like filling in forms – I will always be British something else* – my kids will always be British something else and their kids after them will be British something else, that makes me realise even though this is my home, I will never feel quite at home. I will always feel like I’m squatting.
Maybe I will be able to go a whole week without feeling it. But then something will pop up on the news, someone will say an off-the-cuff comment and I will be reminded.
*something else because what they call us changes over time.
I wonder if I will ever be allowed to feel at home. Probably not in my lifetime. But I wonder how many generations of children immigrant families have before this goes away.
Being visibly faithful: sabbath
One of the members of our team is Jewish and he will be taking the afternoon off for sabbath.
As I spoke to him about sabbath, I realised I don’t actually know anything about Judaism. In school we concentrated on Christianity and Islam as our two R.S. topics. I have a two Jewish friends – both who are spiritual but not what they would call traditional Jewish. One is gay. And the second leads the pro-Palestinian BDS movement. (I would just like to point out here that I am not equating being Jewish with being pro-Israeli).
As I asked him about the sabbath he described the prayers which are followed by meals with the whole family. The idea touched me as being so beautiful and grounding. I am very close to my family and though we spend hours chatting, our schedules mean we rarely eat together. And there’s something unique about eating together in the way it brings people together. It reminds me of Ramadan when we would all sit in a circle on the floor, sharing stories about our day, patiently waiting to break our fast. How lovely to be able to replicate that weekly.
He is visibly Jewish and I am visibly Muslim. Even though we never discussed it, I feel like a sense of solidarity with him. It must be hard to have to explain why you’re taking time off followed by the same questions again and again. I, too, am guilty of putting him through that. I respect him for his patience and the smile on his face as he explained – again. It’s nice to be around someone at work who’s faith is just as important to them as mine is to me.
Being poor: save our council homes
The Torys have put forward a proposal to stop new council tenants from having lifelong tenancies. Instead tenancies will last only two – five years, after which their position will be reconsidered and they may be removed. This is just another attack on the poor – now being told having a stable home is too much of a privilege that they can’t afford.
Council housing are often the only form of housing working class families can afford – rent being sky high and too unpredictable. And we all know it’s near impossible to actually own a home here.
Imagine your family having to move around every five years – your children having to move schools – affecting the friendships they form, their studies and confidence. Just making friends with the neighbours and then having to move again – would you even bother making friends? Wasting money on decorating when with the current cuts you can barely afford food and clothing – would you even bother redecorating?
Living in a house – not a home. Uncertain of your future. Whole neighbourhoods destroyed. Community spirit forgotten.
I grew up in a council house and still live in a council estate. I remember the upheaval in the early days before we got our permanent home now. We were living out of suitcases, homes were often damp and horrible and I was always the new kid. Having a stable home meant I was able to go to one school – get to know my teachers, make lifelong friends and being able to bring friends round, not worry about where I will be living. I am now a graduate and working – having a stable home played a huge part in this.
Just because we are poor does not mean we don’t deserve a home. Being poor is not a crime and should not be punished. A stable home is simple decency.
This proposal makes no sense for anyone apart from the rich. It puts further strains on councils to do extra processing and means they can never plan ahead.
I urge you all to sign this petition and help save our council homes.
My dream world
In my dream world the word equality will cease to exist. No child will be born with any more advantage than another. We will be proud of our differences – in culture, identify and skills. The goals you have will be truly limited by yourself – nothing or no one else.
This was the start of an application for a course where I had to talk about my dream world. But my friend told me it is too generic to include. So I thought I’d share it on here instead.
Generic I may be – but does that mean everyone has the same dream? And if so – why we not there yet?
Because of the 1% that own 99%. But why don’t we just ignore the 1% and takeover? Because they teach us to hate each over, keep us hungry and uneducated and make us want to be like them. Oh – they smart.
This is a conversation I had with myself. Why you telling them this – don’t you know this is the first sign of madness?
When I started this blog I had intended to write daily. I had a 47 day run. Then I ran out of steam that dramatically dropped.
My style of writing has also changed. My earlier pieces were chockablock full with gifs and memes – made possible by my laptop. Now I write most of my posts on my phone. Except this one – because I am meant to be working … procrastination is a massive blogging motivator!
Well in the spirit of new year (and with the help of that methodological restart button) – I will once again attempt to write everyday – except weekends because I need to do more non-computer activities (like crafting, knitting and reading – things I have not done since starting my new job!). Writing on here keeps me sane and I feel like I’m being productive even though I am not – but feeling productive is step 1 of being productive so I’m on my way. & on days I am unable to write full on feels (because some days are just not inspiration) I’ll just post a quote summarising my day. For example, this one:
My sister *applying for job*: What can I write for initiative thinking and problem solving skills… how about spraying air-freshner before going to the toilet?
Don’t worry – my blog will not turn into a toilet humour filled space. Unless everyday is filled with that kind of thing. And it won’t be because the world is not that funny and is filled with actual shit worth writing about.
How often do you plan to write – do you even have a “how often” or do you just write when you can/feel like it?
Keeping memories: 5 awesome ways to record 2016
Still on the New Years hype and came across cute ideas to make this year one to remember. Journaling is quite daunting for many people so here are 5 ways you can still capture 2016 with minimum effort. I know it’s already the 2nd day but it’s easy to catch up on a few days.
- Memory jar:
Use an empty mason jar and fill with one memory to summarise the day. This can be a comment someone said, somewhere you went – any memory from the day. Write the date on the paper too. Fold it up and place in the jar. By the end of the year you will have 365 memories to look back on and can make a scrap book out of them.
- heyday app: a person journal on your phone. This app automatically collates where you’ve been and your photos everyday – a journal that writes itself. I’ve not used the app before but have just downloaded it so will follow up with an edit on how it goes.
- Memory box:
A box full of index cards for everyday of the year. You write one line summary of the day. Next year, you would write another line beneath the previous year – and reminisce about the day you had the year before. This idea takes a little effort to make – step by step instructions can be found here (check out the comments section for links to buying the box) – but I think it’s worth it. For those of you unable to make the box – here’s a book you can buy that has the same idea.
- Social media: private accounts are a great space to store memories. Tweet your daily happenings with a 140-character limit or Instragram a photo a day. Create a different Snapchat account and add yourself. Now, every time you send a snap – ones that you’ll want to remember – send a copy to yourself. Log in next year to see the whole story.
- Ticket box:
Fill a shadow box (a photoframe designed to let you put items in) with tickets collected throughout the year. This can include anything you want – holidays, cinema, theme parks, comedy shows, even restaurants. And this is an especially cute idea for couples where you can write “admit two”.
Happy memory collecting. Personally going to stick to the memory jar because I love creating scrapbooks and I think it’ll make a lovely scrapbook. I have also downloaded Heyday and am excited to see how that works.
Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it become a memory – Unknown