don’t just look- see

“What do you see?,” I ask him, my eyes transfixed on the swirling mass of white fluff dappling the too blue, true blue, sky,

Spiralling, it begins as a dolphin, swimming in the sea of the sky, the above above our world, and turns into

A mermaid singing songs to the sailors ships, siren-like in her appeal and song, her powers of persuasion but changes into

A bird. Right at home among his own, soaring above cities, swooping and flying and riding the breeze like a wave, and for him, just living and now becoming

A girl. A sweet little girl. A sweet kind innocent little girl, unexposed to the big bad world, so simply being, laughing, singing- simply simple, but she grows up into

A bottle. What of? If only she’d know. Something bad for your health, your liver, and even worse for your judgement, something pouring into the blue, flooding it,

And the man beside me peels his eyes from his LED lights,

Glances impassively at the sky,

Glances impassively at me and says,

‘A cloud’-

And falls back into the world of a phone,

While forgetting his own.

Love, Hea xx

I’m every part of you that you seem to have forgot

I’m the twinkle in your eye when you can’t quite sleep,

I’m the lengths that you’d go to, to make all ends meet,

I’m the croak in your voice when you hazily wake,

I’m the laughter that creeps out while reliving your mistake,

I’m the rise of the sides of your lips you can’t stop,

I’m every part of you that you seem to have forgot.

 

I’m the catch in your throat while you’re fighting back tears,

I’m the rise of your pulse when you’re facing your fears,

I’m the feeling of the hug that you desperately need,

I’m the loud, open laughter, when you’re finally freed.

I’m the moment when you’re flying, so on top,

I’m every part of you that you seem to have forgot.

 

I’m the inside joke you smile at years from now,

I’m the pride you feel as you take your final bow,

I’m the sun seeping, soaking deep into your skin,

I’m the elation running through your veins when you win,

I’m the secret parts of you that you hide, old or new,

I’m real, I matter, I feel, I’m here- I’m you.

Love Hea xxx

What mask do you wear?

Take off the mask you hide behind. That face you wear outside. Take it off and look in the mirror, do you recognise the person you are? When you’re not the person you pretend to be, you want to be, who are you? When you don’t have to be anyone for anyone else, what person would you be? Would you be the sleepless nights? Would you be the tear stained eyes? Would you be the throat tearing sobs?

Or would you be the hidden smiles? Would you be the manic moods? Would you be the laughs at stupid things you see online and are too embarrassed to share?

Would you be strong? Would you be confident? Would you be fearless? Would you be happy?

Or would you be weak? Would you be insecure? Would you be scared? Would you be sad and down?

Well who knows. The version of myself I put out, I think, is caring. It’s honest. It’s reasonably confident. It’s smart.

The reality? I’m terrified, anxious, so insecure with no clue what’s going on most of the time.

But that honest, open, real, vulnerable version of myself, well it’s not the me I want to be. It’s not who or how I hope to stay. So, when I take off my mask, am I the better version of myself because it’s honest, or the worse because I want to be better?

Look at yourself in the mirror. Look at your eyes, your hair, your skin. Do you ever think how crazy it is that that’s who we are? That the face looking back is the one others see? Do you ever wonder how you look when your head swings back in laughter, or when you smile under your hand because you shouldn’t be? Do you ever think about how you look when you look over to your best friend and know you’re thinking the same thing, or when you roll your eyes in frustration?

Because I think that’s who you are behind the mask. I think that we’re the moments that go unobserved, unnoticed at the time, but looking back they’re what you remember. I think whether you’re alone or around people, you’re always in a mask. Different masks for different days, different masks for different people.

I know I seem like an optimist, but I’m a realist. And realistically? People hiding behind masks, it isn’t going to change. It’s how it is. But I think something people struggle with is accepting that maybe, yes, you do change. I think it’s important people accept who they are.

Love, Hea xx

It’s okay

Not everyone’s going to like you. You won’t be everyone’s person. You may not have much in common, may not have the same sense of humour, may not have much to talk about.

Or, you may be too similar and clash, may be too different and have all this distance between you.

You may prefer people with stronger characters, you may prefer people with less conviction, you may prefer smarter people, or people with lower intelligence, you may just not be destined to get on.

And I think I have to remind you guys, that’s okay.

Realistically, you don’t like everyone, right? You don’t like every single person you meet, at school, at work, at home-

And I hate to break it to you, but not everyone’s going to like you either.

As my friend described it, ‘you’d have to be a bit of a nothing person for everyone to like you, but even then there’s no way that everyone would.’

And it’s true.

What I like in people are people who believe what they believe and aren’t afraid to disagree with you, people who make me laugh just by being themselves, people who build me and others up, people who know that they’re perfectly imperfect, but that that’s okay.

But someone out there might like people who don’t share their opinion or belief if it causes conflict, people who put on a face everyday, a mask they hide behind, people who are more malicious and hurtful, people who are completely blind to their own faults-

And that’s okay.

It’s okay for every single person you meet to not like you, it’s okay if you aren’t every single persons’ type of person, it’s okay to not get along with every single person,

As long as you get on with the married people, am-I-right? (Sorry, bad joke, bad time),

As long as you have people, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, family, colleagues, peers that you get on with, that you like and that like you back.

Of course, this won’t be the same for everyone reading this, but personally, I would rather have close friends who I trust and love and who trust and love me, than have everyone ‘know’ me and everyone ‘like’ me,

Because that’s just who I am,

And you know what?

That’s okay,

Love, Hea xx

My experience with depression

Guys, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. My heart is pounding and my head is spinning and I’m not just scared, I’m terrified.

This blog as a whole is about topical issues and our society and are always very positive and optimistic, but as a rule quite impersonal.

But this post is about my experience with depression.

I’m being open and honest and I’m genuinely shaking but this is a blog I’ve been meaning to do since starting Hea.

One piece of feedback I regularly get back is that my blog is no bull and no sugar coating so this won’t be any different. I am not posting this for attention or pity or anything in-between: this is close to me and people I know, so needs to be said.

I had depression. Severe atypical depression for two to three months. Not too long a time in the grand scheme of things,

But it felt like a lifetime.

It was like being surrounded with smoke. You can’t see clearly and that makes it harder to think clearly and that makes it more tiring to get through a day and then you’re using all your energy just trying to breathe. I always described it as a ‘grey haze’ because the world was so drained and lifeless and colourless and exhausting and it was like the air was too heavy, too thick, for me, thicker than it seemed to be for anyone else. And I had to keep going. I went to lessons, tried to concentrate, tried to concentrate on concentrating, all the while trying to be normal and act like everything was fine.

But it wasn’t.

I know, I was fine some of the time. Not just fine, good. That’s why it’s atypical. And I know two to three months is not a long time in comparison to others who have had it. For some people it can last literally years and for some people it’s genetic and clinical and never goes away and for some people it’s annual at winter with SAD. And my god am I sorry to anyone who has that, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that is.

Because my lord is it hard. Hard to try and care, hard to feel like you’re letting everyone down while not having the energy to do anything about it, hard to keep going when everything in you screams ‘stop!’

And I don’t want people going on about how strong and brave I am because I did what I had to do to get through it. Hearing ‘why do you look so depressed?’ almost daily didn’t help, nor did people miming shooting themselves or hanging themselves,

But I did what I had to.

And I’m better. That’s why I’m writing this today. I was walking through the village and as I walked down the street I was just smiling at people, smiling for no reason, other than the fact that I’m happy. I’m me again. With a little help from my friends, both medicinal (legally) and human, I’m getting through it. Still not perfect, still not 100%, but I’m happy

And if you’re struggling I’m not gounna say ‘it gets better’ because if someone said that to me I would’ve rolled my eyes but I’ll say this: it doesn’t have to last forever. i know it feels like it will, but it won’t. there will be good days and bad days, but the bass will get less bad, and the goods even better. give it time.

Love, Hea xx

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

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