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

I wish she was still just breathing in snow

Before reading the rest of this blog, put on A-Team by Ed Sheeran

Snow White. We all know the story of the girl with the skin as white as snow and the hair as black as night. The one with the girl who runs away to a little cabin in the woods, with those 7 odd little men. The fairytale which taught us not to be vain and to wait for true love.

The song A-Team by Ed Sheeran, I thought, as a kid, it was based on Snow White. With her ‘white lips, pale face’

And her ‘long nights, strange men’. As it’s a fairytale, I thought the angel flew and, in the winter, danced in the snow.

Little did I know she was actually a ‘call girl’ ‘breathing in snowflakes,’ ‘straight down the line’.

Little did I know she ‘sells love to another man’ and ‘goes mad for a couple grams’

How could I have known about her ‘weary eyes, dry throat’ wasn’t just from singing to the animals to much?

As a kid, all you want is to be a teenager. The dream of being at parties at 3AM, about sitting in your convertible and flooring down the pedal, you and your group of friends screaming with joy, about having a boyfriend or a girlfriend and a phone and shopping and freedom.

The reality? It’s reality. Life doesn’t suddenly become a made for TV movie because you grow up. Your hair doesn’t stop tangling, your clothes don’t stop creasing, your brain doesn’t’t stop stressing. And even when you’re younger you’re told ‘don’t grow up too fast’ and you think well I just can’t wait to grow up and be older and be taller and bigger and get to be free and teenage. You think people are just saying ‘don’t grow up to fast’ because they don’t want to see you any older, they want to keep you a kid.

But they’re saying it for you. You can never unhear or undo or unthink or unsee something. You can never go back to being five and playing ‘it’ in the playground, giggling and laughing because you dodged so well. You can never go back to playing manhunt in year 5 and climbing the trees and just being a kid.

But right now, however old you are, however young, you’re at a place where you can do something you couldn’t ten years ago and you won’t being able to in ten years. You’re at a place where you will look back on and think, ‘I miss laughing like that’ or ‘I miss spending time with them’ or ‘I wish I could still do that’ but for right now you can. You can spend time with that person, you can laugh in a way you’ll never really forget, you can nothings even you don’t realise.

I have the rest of my life to make mistakes and mess up and do things I’m not proud of. But for right now, I don’t want to take it too fast. I might sometimes, I will sometimes, but for right now- I’m going to live and accept where I am,

Instead of wishing for the future,

I’ll let the future wish for me,

Love, Hea xx

Regret

What do you regret? When you look back at your life so far, regardless how long, regardless how short, when you think about the moments that led you to the moment you’re in now, how many do you regret? That person that broke your heart, that thing you shouldn’t have said, the one that got away, what would you change if you could?

Now, some people reading this will be thinking, I’d change nothing because each awkward conversation, every sleepless night and all the people I’ve known will have shaped me to who I am today, I wouldn’t change it because it’s part of me and who I am now.

The rest of us? I’m thinking about the stupid comments that only escalated petty fights, saying something out of anger that made you cover your mouth in shock, that comment that was a bit too personal, too impolite and you only realised after you saw the distaste clear in their eyes. I’m speaking about walking into the wrong room and going red in the face at all the faces staring up at you, the moment you rolled your eyes and the person you were doing it at saw you. I’m talking about the moments that make you cringe and squirm even now,

You wouldn’t change them if you would?

Now, I’m not here to tell you how to live or what to think, but someone said something to me that really upset me honestly enough, ‘if I don’t do it then I can’t regret it’. And it got me thinking, these phrases, ‘you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do’- well I don’t agree. If you were in a bad place in your life and wanted to do something, you won’t regret not having done it. ‘You only regret the things you do do’- well I don’t agree either. The amount of times my social anxiety or awkwardness got in the way of me asking friends or putting myself out there, well it’s innumerable. The amount of quotes about regret, ‘regret is a form of punishment in itself’, ‘never regret something that made you happy’, ‘I made decisions that I regret and took them as learning experiences’ and on and on and while, to an extent, I agree with them all, in my opinion there’s only one quote about regret which it universally true:

Hindsight’s a bitch.

Thinking what you could’ve done, should’ve done, would do if you could try again, well, I agree, it’s you punishing yourself. Obsessing over the past, what’s happened, what would’ve happened, what could’ve happened, well there’s only one word for it:

Exhausting.

There’s one quote about regret which really hit home was by Yoko Ono, ‘the regret of my life is that I have not said ‘I love you’ often enough’ and here’s the thing about regret: right now, the second you’re reading this, the second you’re living this: you have a choice. You can leave a nice comment (which is much appreciated) and move on with your day, you can think about it or you can right now click off and go text your mum or dad or gran or gramps or brother or sister or friend or even a fifth cousin twice removed and just tell them what they mean to you. Tell them you love them. It’s as simple as that. The small messages, the small changes, that’s what’s gounna reshape the world and what we think.

So this Tuesday’s homework is to tell someone what they mean to you,

Make the world a bit of a brighter place for someone

Love, Hea xx

Are you happy?

This blog isn’t a ‘blog’ as such, instead, a poem I wrote today. I hope at least one line, especially the last line, will make you think:

 

See those kids in that green park? 

And hear the freedom in their laugh?

You were once them

 

See the teens just to the right?

See them in their empty fight?

You’ll become them

 

See the tears rolling down their face?

Wishing for anything, other than this place?

You have been them

 

See the couple arm in arm?

The way their smiles makes your heart dance?

You can be them

 

See the mirror before you now?

See the furrow in your brows?

 

If your 6 year old self were looking at you, here

Would they recognise who you are today?

If they pulled at your sleeve and said, ‘are you happy?’

Answer honestly, what would you say?

————————————————

Love, Hea xx

(And just a quick explanation of the name, ‘Hea’ stands for Hoping Ever After <–(click here for the blog explaining the name))

a deathless life?

This is a short one, kind of to convey the point,

Do you ever dream of a deathless life? One where you live for as long as you choose, can die whenever you choose. You could either age naturally or stay at one age for as long as you like. All the rush and urgency removed, living each day with no fear.

But, on the one hand, despite how great it might be, it would take any meaning, any purpose from the days on our planet. Remove any satisfaction and contentment because you could relive as many days as you’d want, quite literally forever, and get the end result you so dearly craved. It would take away the fleetingness of our days, it would take away the need to try because you can try as many times as you like.

One of the thing that makes humanity beautiful is the way that we live each day like it could be our last. We value all the memories we make, we value the things we put effort and time into, but when time is infinite, where will that value come from?

If the urgency of life was missing, could we really call it living?

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