Family- the people you love

You were born. That means you have a mother and a father. That means they have a mother or a father. Generations of your family must have had to be born just for you to be here.

And whether your parents are still in your life, whether or not you have a good relationship with them, whether you have siblings, whether you have grandparents,

If you have people in your life that you love, then you have a family.

I asked a small number of friends whether they are closer with their siblings or their parents, and 64% said siblings. The fact is, we’re all so lucky to have some kind of family, whether parents or siblings, in our lives. In fact, I don’t think i’ve ever met someone in this country (or my part of it) with no family or extended family in their life.

You know why I brought this up?

I went to South Africa last summer to help out at a school that my old school sponsored. Out of my favourite class of kids, only one person who had both of their parents. When we went into the boarding houses, about 7 or eight people per room, rooms the size of about half a classroom here, not one of the people boarding there had any parents. And these kids smiled brighter than I’ve seen people here do. They laughed louder, loved harder and do you know why?

They realised that you can decide who your family is as much as your genetics can.

Some of the friendships I saw, they choke me up even now. The way they had each others backs, the way they moved as one person, just the love they had,

They were more like sisters than I’ve ever seen. 

So do you know this Tuesday’s homework? Send a message, email, text or letter to someone you call family. Whether it be blood or not. 

So this blog is my letter. To my friends, M, A, H, J, S, C, E and D, my mum and dad, my step mum and siblings, to my aunt, uncles and cousins, to my gran and her boyfriend, to all the people who I love and can call my family,

Thank you for being in my life,

Love, Hea xx

Instagram? Insta-sham

These people that you idolise, these models that you admire, these bodies that you envy:

They’re lying.

Photoshop and photo angles are beautiful things, things used to make us look better. Just editing out a spot, to making your waist a little smaller, what’s the harm? Making your friend crouch on the ground to get the perfect angle. And the thing is, there’s nothing wrong with it. Of course there isn’t. It’s natural to want to impress people, to put out the best version of yourself to the world. It’s natural to feel the need to look and be beautiful. Or whatever you count as beautiful. But here’s the thing,

If you use filters and photoshop and angles, do you really think that the models don’t?

The people we see on instagram, the lives we’re lead to believe they live, the version of reality they choose to share,

Well it’s exactly that, isn’t it? What they choose to share. 

When I post a photo, I’m not going to post me lying in bed on Netflix with a bowl of cereal. I’m not going to post me when I’m singing chandelier or high school musical at the top of my lungs surrounded with friends. I’m not going to post the times when I’m crying,

I’m going to post my face with make up, wearing clothes I like, hair nicely washed. I’m going to post something I feel comfortable in, something where I like the way that I look.

So why in heavens name wouldn’t models do the same? 

Some of these people, their very livelihood relies on their following. Their wealth, their self esteem, their happiness depends on likes per posts. Even people who aren’t models, plenty of people base their confidence, their popularity and again, their happiness on their response from social media.

i’m going to be really honest here, yes: I do feel better about myself when I get more likes. Yes, I do feel more confident when I get load of comments. But you know where I cross the line? 

Letting the lack of these things effect me.

People share the parts of their lives that they want you to see. A touch up here, some blemish control there, just little things, tiny things for their lives to seem even better,

But remember this:

If you search for validation and happiness on your social media feed, then you’ll never stop looking,

Love, Hea xx

Jealousy, normal but dangerous

I get jealous, okay? I really do. But, by definition, (you may have noticed that doing loads of practice essays really drills using a definition to make a point into you, so expect more of that to come), to be jealous means: feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages. It’s completely understandable when you feel left out or not a part of a situation that you feel jealous of the people’s friendship. Or if you think someone has a tiny waist and your idea of perfect legs that you are jealous of their looks. Or if someone walks in wearing an outfit of your favourite brand that you might not be able to afford or get at the moment, you’re jealous of what they have.

But here’s the thing with jealousy: it spirals, hard and fast. 

You’ll see a person and maybe be jealous and that jealousy will grow into resentment. Your two friends will be laughing and your jealousy will turn to anger. That person wearing those brands, that jealousy could go to bitterness. 

On its own, jealousy is a natural feeling, a normal feeling that we all have. If we’re honest, we’ve all been jealous before, whether with or without good reason,

But like any emotion: you can’t let that jealousy control you.

My example is this. Imagine you don’t have much money so you ride a bike to school. You look next to you and see a bus and you think, ‘I wish I could afford a bus ticket’. You know what the person on the bus is thinking? ‘Gee, I wish I could afford the car that that person’s driving’. You know what the person in the car is thinking? ‘I just wish I had that limo, someone to drive me anywhere’. You know what that person in the limo is thinking? ‘I wish I could walk like that man can’ because do you know why he’s in the limo? He hasn’t got use of his legs.

So you know what? Feel jealous. Let it wash over and accept it.

But like anything, never let it dictate how you act or who you are. When you’re always looking for that one step ahead you forget to see how far you’ve come.

So, you know this Thursday’s homework? Instead of focusing on anything else, wishing things would change, here’s what you do. Take a deep breath and look at your past year. You see how far you’ve come? If nothing else then you’re still alive reading this.

You don’t need to be jealous of others, who you are it always enough

Love, Hea xx

We judge people for judging people because judging people is wrong

Realistically everyone judges everyone. The dictionary definition of the verb ‘judge’ is, ‘form an opinion or conclusion about.’ People will take one look at a person and decide what they think. If you were to say that to almost anyone in real life, they would profusely deny it, but if someone walked past you and had loads of piercings heavy eye make up and was dressed in all black and chains, you’re saying you wouldn’t decide what category you would put them into? And if someone walked past you in a short skirt, a push up bra, tight top and over done make up with their blown out hair, you’re saying your brain wouldn’t find a conclusion?

I’m going to admit something that not many people would:

I have a tendency to judge people on the limited information I have on them.

And I know that’s not right. I know it’s not what I should be doing and I know that there are 101 quotes about how ‘you can’t judge people unless you’re perfect’ and ‘if you judge me then that says more about you than it does about me’ but, listen.

Why does judging have to be negative?

When you meet someone and they’re lovely, really kind and sweet and caring: you judge them. You ‘form an opinion or conclusion about’ them. You think: that person is a nice person.

So why does judging have to be negative?

Those girls you walk past and you try to categorise, maybe instead think, ‘she looks like a badass’ or ‘she has such a good figure’. Factually, realistically: you judge people. Whether you share your judgements or you keep it in your mind, you judge people. Whether positively or negatively: you judge people.

So just work on your outlook on that judgement. Whether you decide what you think and refuse to change it, whether you take people on their looks, whether you get to know the real them. Judging people isn’t going to change, but maybe we can.

I asked a small group of people whether they think that they judge people. 64% said yes. The other 36%? They’re lying. Before I get hate messages and people being annoyed at me, every single person on this planet has formed an opinion or judgement on a person. You have. I have. We all have.

So just make that judgement count.

See what you have

So, this is a little different. in English today we’re reading poems by children in Syria, and  they are heart breaking. These people without mums or dads or food and yet through it all they do the most simple, yet beautiful thing

They live.

so we were told to write our poems in response, and this is what I wrote.

Open your eyes, look around,

See the world in which you live

So many people who love you

So much love for you to give

So much opportunity and chance

Which others can only hope for

And yet can you go a day without complaining

About all the things you long for?

See the wealth of love and life

See the health which you have

See the laughs which surrounds you

See the the life that you have had

Will it ever be enough?

Will you ever find that bliss?

Will you ever wake up and see

That your bliss is simply this,

Live which you lead,

This dream that you live?

Instead of through the rubble

Constantly sieve-

Ing because you need to find fault

You need to complain

But answer me this,

What does your negativity gain?

People will always complain. It’s okay to. But it’s good for us so every once in a while, breathe in and look around. See all that we actually have,

and that might just make the world a bit of a better place.

So, a little shoutout to the people that support me and my writing. My family, mum and dad, my friends, my English teacher, my aunt: so many people who read what I write and it means so much to me,

thank you for all that you all do,

love, Hea xx

summer

So, I’m writing this on a spur of the moment. I had this post planned and it would be about school and summer and what it means to me. It was going to be very idealistic, very detailed and specific: but it would’ve all been hypothetical. So, instead, this one that I’m writing now, this one that you’re reading now, is what summer means to me.

After going and having a laugh with friends, we went to sunbathe. Just a clarification, I went to sunburn: I don’t tan. But I was lying there, on the grass (not a good idea if you have hay fever), the sun beating down into me, seeping into my skin and for a moment, just a moment, I wasn’t worried about anything. I didn’t care how pale I looked compared to the girl with gorgeous skin next to me. I didn’t care that the grass was starting to itch. I didn’t care that I could’ve/ should’ve been doing my prep, or reading, or writing or anything else.

In that moment, I was in that moment.

It was just me. The sun soaking into my skin, the heat rays warming me, surrounded with people I love, in an incredible school, with a whole life ahead of me. It was just me, smiling, laughing, feeling really and truly happy. That kind of happy that goes beyond a smile or a laugh, the kind that doesn’t go away.

We, then, went on to go cartwheel in the grass and have stupid year 4 competition about them, all of us laughing. We were all in the moment. We went on to me and my friend making daisy chains and watching a cricket drill, never on our phones or watching anything or even reading: we were in the moment.

So, what is summer to me? It’s laughs, sun, grass and nothing else mattering other than the moment you’re in and the time that you’re living, it’s appreciating the things you have, cartwheels, lemonade and daisy chains,

and maybe that’s exactly what it should be.

love, Hea xx

Why I write

My blog was going to be about how to deal with back to school nerves. Then I realised I’d be back at school when it posted, making it redundant. Maybe September? Either way, todays blog is definitely different.

Todays blog is about my love of writing.

Imagine a beach. You lie on the sand, hot rays of sun coarsing through you, seeming to seep through your skin and warm your whole being. The sea steadily laps in a constant ‘whoosh’ and this peace and contentment fills you, this feeling of complete and utter undeniable bliss.

Can you imagine it?

If your answer’s yes then that’s why I love writing. The thoughts and ideas and feelings inside me, all the things that feel unique to me, well others feel them too. And I love writing because there’s something beautiful about manipulating the English language to paint a picture and provoke an emotion. There’s something beautiful in the way words flow to please the eyes, the way sounds swell to compliment each other in the listeners’ ear, the way language is so unique to location, but feelings are universal. If I can not only speak to your ears, but to your heart then that is why I write.

You know those classic teen movies? And there’s that scene with the character in their convertible with that perfectly hued sunset and beautifully clear sky above them and wind rushing through their perfectly groomed hair and a song like ‘I don’t want to leave’ by Matthew Perryman Jones in the background and the person is so lost in thought that they seem to be enveloped in their own mind?

That’s what writing is to me. It’s those sunset joy rides, those sandy nights on the beach, those times someone’s biting their lip because they’re thinking so hard, those absent minded smiles, those moments that seem so obvious and easy and so simple and you lose yourself in them.

You know that song you were in love with four years ago and when it comes on you can still sing it word for word? Or when you haven’t seen a friend for ages but when you do it’s like everything clicks into place and they’ve never left? You know those things that just come so naturally and easy to you and just become routine? Losing myself in the words I write is one of them for me.

There’s this quote that I’m in love with. ‘She found heaven in a bookstore she got lost in the pages’. I can’t tell you why but for some reason it really speaks to me. When I read (another blog for another time) I lose myself in the words written. I find myself as part of their story. And, this might be a pipe dream and extremely ambitious and vain to say, but one day I hope to write something that someone can lose themselves in. Something that distracts someone right when they need it most.

But more than anything else I want to make a difference.

And I hope to get there, one blog at a time,

Love, Hea xx