What do you care about the most in this world?
Its just something I’ve been wondering recently and I’d love to hear your thoughts…
*Note: not attacking/blaming anyone here. These are just my own opinions. If you disagree feel free to say so and we can discuss it 🙂*
My little sister came home crying today because she feels so different to all of her friends, she feels like she doesn’t fit in. Truth is, she doesn’t. She doesn’t even want to.
I walk past and see her standing there surrounded by her entire peer group. They’re all around her – singing stupid songs, doing silly things and talking about TV shows and movies she has no interest in. I catch her eye. She looks so sad and alone.
Later, back at home, she’s pretty upset. “Why can’t my friends be normal?” she asks me. Her perception of normal makes me smile. “They are normal” I tell her “It’s you who’s different.”
She doesn’t want to fit in with them, to be the same, to wear the same type of clothes, to talk the same kind of rubbish – she just wants her friends to be themselves, to have fun and not care about being ‘cool’ and fitting in. She just wants them to see what’s good and important, to realise that what they’re watching, listening to and basing their small-minded lives around is nonsense. No one ever did anything notable by being like everyone else.
Look, I understand how hard it is to escape from. This stuff is all around us. Our own society is telling us how to think and act, but our whole future is at stake here!
I understand my sister’s struggle. It’s kinda like there’s something that sets us apart. Like our eyes are opened. Like for some reason we can see the stupidity and danger in following the crowd. I listen to the rubbish some of my own friends and I feel like screaming at them “wake up! Is this how you want to spend your life??!?!”
Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually even likes this stuff – TV shows, music, internet trends and crazes? Maybe everyone is only obsessed because with it because it’s popular and they think they’ll be left out if they don’t join in with the hype? Wouldn’t it be cool if one person was like ‘guys, what’re we doing? This is seriously so bad!’ and everyone else admitted they never liked it either?! There’s always got to be a first one, right?!
When I talk to my friends one-on-one we have the BEST conversations. Sure, they’re often a bit crazy, but that’s okay. We talk about our dreams and hopes and our struggles and things we’ve done and learnt. How we feel and things that have made us laugh or smile. We talk about memories and stories and things we’re scared of. Things that make us happy, things that make us sad. Very rarely do I have these conversations when there’s a big group of us. Everyone’s so worried about being popular and liked and fitting in that the conversation always turns back to the same old nonsense. ‘Here we go again.” I think, without enthusiasm. I either roll my eyes and zone out – or listen, get all worked up and offend someone. Oops! 😂
If you’ve known me or have been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know how much I’ve struggled with friendships. It hasn’t been easy for me to avoid peer-pressure. In fact, I’ve probably succumbed to it more than I’d care to admit when things were really tough. I’ve found it so hard to find anyone like me and by ‘like me’ I don’t really mean into the same stuff – I mean not afraid to be themselves and be an individual.
I remember this one day when I just had to let it all go. Holding in the words was suffocating me and I needed to breathe. I wrote this whole long piece, but this was what stood out to me the most when I say back and read through it at the end:
Do you ever know for certain that you’re not like them or like them or them or them or them?
but you wonder who you are like?
And you wonder if you’ll ever find anyone like you?
This is why I’m so grateful for the friends I keep in touch with online. They are what real friendship looks like. Blogging friends, friends I’ve met sailing, friends I don’t see often enough, but talk to via email. I’m so lucky and happy with the friends I have in my life and I don’t know where I’d be without them.
So yeah, I’m worried. I’m worried about the future of our world in the hands of this next generation – my generation. We’re lost and the only thing we have to guide us is the negative influences of our society. You see the sickening results of it all around you – mental health, suicide rates, kids nearly losing their lives after jumping out of cars for some new internet trend. Need I say more?
It’s crazy. It’s tragic. And it has to stop. If you’re with me, let me know. It’s not easy for any if of us, but we can do this together, okay 👌❤️
There is so much negativity building up at the moment. Within families, within communities, within society, within humanity as a whole. These things, these things that are the pillars of our world – they’re breaking down, being replaced.
It’s a massive challenge as anyone really, but particularly teenagers, to grow up in this world. It’s so essential that we, as the future, hold on to what is important. Family. Community. Society. Humanity.
This is a huge struggle, but I’m trying to make the decision to understand and believe in these things.
Soooo, that was the thought of the day! If you guys have any comments on that please do let me know.
Now, I’m going to do like a mini update/catch up thingy with everything I need to tell you all. There’s quite a bit!
What was your thought for today? Tell me all your news! Are you excited for all my future plans on this blog? Lemme know….
How are you?
Simple question, right? One you’ll hear pretty much everyday, probably several times. I’m sure you’ll have your automatic answer all lined up. Something along the lines of ‘Fine, thanks’ or ‘I’m okay’ or ‘Good’ or whatever. You say it without even thinking.
What happens if you do think about it though? What happens if you pause before you answer and ask yourself how you really are? Would your answer be different?
So I’m asking you – how are you?
Be creative, be thoughtful, but most importantly, be honest.
Now, if you think this is great, please get involved by either sharing this post or writing your own, spread this around the blogosphere, encourage people to be open and honest, show people how to care about each other! We can do this, guys!
As part of my home school curriculum, I am doing a project called Words That Burn. It was launched by Amnesty International and is aimed at teaching young people about human rights, whilst encouraging them in their creative writing, mainly poetry. Learning at its best, in my view.
So, today I wanted to share a poem that we had to analyse in my project. It’s a really powerful and beautiful piece by spoken word artist Dean Atta, on the topic of identity. After that, we had to write our own poem, about our identity.
However, before we go into all of that exciting stuff, I have an important announcement to make! 🙂 You can now go vote for the nominees in Megan’s Part 1 of the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards! I am literally jumping up and down right now because I WAS NOMINATED IN TWO CATEGORIES! Wow, I never expected that. Anyway, go vote! And good luck! *proceeds to dance around the room*
Okay, so coming back to the poem. I present, I Come From by Dean Atta.
I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast
Jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves
I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live
I come from a home that some would call broken
I come from D.I.Y. that never got done
I come from waiting by the phone for him to call
I come from waving the white flag to loneliness
I come from the rainbow flag and the union jack
I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase
I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water
I come from crossing oceans to find myself
I come from deep issues and shallow solutions
I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination
I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother
I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead
I come from wherever I lay my head
I come from unanswered questions and unread books
Unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks
I come from who I trust and who I have left
I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed
I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself
I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales
I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry
I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers
I come from published words and strangers’ smiles
I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper
Each a story or poem that never made it into a book.
I just love love love some of the lines in this, they’re so poignant. “waving the white flag to loneliness” “crossing oceans to find myself” “being given permission to dream, but choosing to wake up instead” I could go on and on and on. Seriously.
Now comes the challenging part. I had to write a poem like his: an I come from….. poem. So I sat down and made a list of the things that have shaped my identity and then crafted them into this poem.
I Come From by Gracie Chick
I come from words springing from emptiness,
I come from the pages of a book,
I come from misty mornings in my mind and conversations long into the night,
I come from the flames of a candle and the glowing embers of a campfire
I come from struggles and determination and an overwhelming desire for true friendship.
I come from missing the sunrise and waiting all day for it to set.
I come from craving beauty in a world I want to change,
I come from tears and discontentment,
I come from dreaming big
I come from two amazing hearts that never lose faith.
I come from wanting more than black and white
I come from music that no one else hears and stories that no one else sees,
I come from a river of ink and a land of where the honey is too sticky and sweet and the milk soured long ago.
Hope that made sense to you guys! Now, the big question is……
Please answer in the comments, debating is more than welcome!
And now, time for the second big announcement. Some of you might remember reading my discussion post on makeup a few weeks ago. If so, you’ll probably recall that I included a section detailing the thoughts of many different teens throughout the blogosphere. The result was amazing and everyone really got into the discussion element of it. So, I was thinking I’d make this a regular thing. If you’re interested in contributing your opinions to these future discussion posts, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Then, whenever I need your thoughts, I’ll send out an email (probably monthly) and you can reply with your contributions. This is aimed mainly at teens, but if you’re older or younger and would still like to participate, feel free. Also, if you sign up, you don’t have to participate very time. If you’re ever too busy or just don’t want to contribute that’s totally fine. Hoping to see lots of interest in this!
Things have happened in this past week and they’ve made me realise a lot. I started this blog to be ‘a light in the darkness’ and I’ve become consumed by the very thing I’m fighting. I’ve been dwelling on the darkness, and that doesn’t make any difference to the world. Nothing is changed unless you’re positive and hopeful. Unless you actually take action.
Blogging is a beautiful, beautiful thing with so much potential, but for me it’s turned into a part of the darkness. It’s taken over my life, meaning I haven’t been getting out there and actually living a life that makes me ‘a light’.
My Mum wrote this in my notepad:
“It’s the life you lead that makes you a light, not your awareness of the darkness”
I’m going to write more about my own life, things I’ve done and thought, things that I hope will inspire others. I believe that getting young people talking about things that matter is extremely important, but our world needs action too.
As the title states, I think I’ve learnt my lesson. Never wear yellow in the summer, or this happens:
Most people would be
hyperventilating screaming in that situation, but it doesn’t bother me. Like, at all. They were like little beetles with wings and were actually pretty cool. It makes me wonder how humans have become uncomfortable, even scared, around bugs? Where has this come from?
If people calmed down and thought about it rationally they’d realise that, although bugs may not be particularly ‘pleasant’, they’re not exactly disgusting or terrifying either. Are they?
These little fellas weren’t doing me any harm and it was actually quite funny to laugh at my mistake.
It’s crazy to think that there are people in this world who are absolutely horrified to even see a spider and then there are others who tuck into them like a snack. Sorry if this makes you feel queasy, it’s the truth though! The crazy, crazy truth.
This is the result of different cultures and societies. Are phobias of insects what comes with our ‘advanced modern society’?
What do you think? Apologies for the rant…!
I hope this sparks a discussion, please leave a comment with all your thoughts and opinions on this topic! I’d love to hear from you.
‘Butterflies in your stomach. Butterflies in your stomach.’ It’s such a cliche but it takes experiencing it to understand how true it really is. I take deep breaths and stare down at the salted caramel cookies my Dad bought especially for today. I realise that this is actually happening.
The gentle rocking of the boat isn’t making me feel any better, I keep glancing up the towpath, nervously watching, waiting. I expect to see them any minute. I don’t really know what they look like. All I know, (well, all you’re allowed to know) is that I am being filmed for a casting development project for a mainstream TV channel. A London production company is coming to film me and my life.
This has all happened so fast and, although I’m nervous, I feel an elated anticipation. Suddenly they’re here, carrying a huge camera and looking professional. This is it, Gracie…..this is it……
It all goes so amazingly, I enjoy every minute. Every minute spent giving my opinions on big modern life issues, being interviewed on challenging topics like politics, feminism, social media, materialism, relationships and social care. Every minute talking about my life and the things I’m passionate about, reading poetry and stories in a voice that seems more powerful now there’s someone here especially to hear it. Every minute spent being absolutely myself.
It was intense and my brain whirrs just thinking about it now. But I was in my element, I like a challenge. I like people who value the perspectives of young people on modern society. I loved thinking about the questions and carefully wording my replies. I didn’t find it easy, but I had the opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it.
All in all, I may be accepted to participate in this programme or I may not. I would love to be able to share my thoughts on life even further, but if not, I am just eternally grateful for this experience and I’m proud of myself for making it happen and getting this far.
Please leave me a message in the comments box below, I absolutely love to hear from you all. Thanks!
Hey there guys!
As some of you know, I have a job as a researcher for the inspirational Liv, the young creator of theCramm, a movement aimed at empowering and informing today’s youth. You can read more about my role and theCramm here.
Today, I sent Liv an in-depth guide to my country’s recent General Election results. I wanted theCramm’s readers and subscribers to understand what’s been happening and be inspired to try to make a change.
I’ve tried to include a bit of humour and sarcasm and I hope that you’ll all enjoy and learn from this short guide.
Please do note that it contains some of my personal opinions and that I do not wish to offend anyone. I welcome different ideas and thoughts and am happy to listen to others and discuss anything with you all!
Okay, so here goes:
I’d like to share with you two personal experiences that I hope will shape and inspire my future.
In return, I’m asking you to send me the experiences that have affected the way you live your life. I had the idea of creating an anthology of all YOUR most memorable and meaningful life events. All you have to do is comment your story, along with what it taught you in life. Then I’ll put them all together in a post (or two!), like a virtual book. P.S. If it’s a bit longer or more detailed, post it on your own blog and send me the link. Anyone is welcome to take part, so please don’t hesitate.
I’ll start off the anthology with mine. One of mine happened a long time ago and the other only yesterday, but both of them have made a huge impact on my life and thoughts, they’ve both taught me priceless lessons and showed me things I never really saw before.
I’m sorry that this post is so long, but please keep reading, as it’s so important to me and I’d love you to give me some feedback.
Today I’ll start with the first one, which was about three and a half years ago. The second one will be coming very soon……!
That Time I Stood Up For What I Believe In by Gracie Chick (ME!!!)
I walk across the shiny wood floor, my walking boots thud dully and I listen to the sharp clackety- clack of all the other kids smart, black polished school shoes. I stride towards the other ten year olds, my usual shy smile replaced with a proud, confident beam. The source of my strength comes from the two gold lines that run down the sleeve on my ironed green sweater. Last week I was made a Sixer, an honour given to a few responsible, respected cub scouts.
As I stand beside my fellow cub scouts, I can almost feel those lines radiating heat. “Gracie Chick!” A voice snaps me out of my imagination. As I hear the leader’s words, I learn that the legendary Sixer’s conference has been called and I am told to join them, I need no encouragement.
All the younger and newer cubs, that I had once been a part of, whispered about what went on in that back room and, although everyone had their theories, none of us really knew. I knew that I was entering a new and exciting world now.
I watch as the more experienced and older members discuss what we’ll do on the special day that we get to ourselves, to practice team building and leadership skills.
The suggestions keep on coming and I listen with interest. Suddenly someone says “What about laser tag?” and everyone agrees. “Yes! Yes! Laser tag. Perfect.” “Okay, well that’s settled then.” The leader glances round the room. Slowly and nervously I raise my hand.
“Um, what’s laser tag?” I asked tentatively.
Everyone jumps in to try to explain it to me.
“Basically, it’s a dark room and you get a laser gun and run round trying to shoot each other.”
“Kill as many people as you can.”
“It’s just a game really, but it feels like a proper war.”
I leave cubs that night with a furrowed brow and troubling thoughts on my mind. In the car on the way home to the farm where I live, I relay all the information to my Dad. I finish with “I can’t believe they find that fun!”
My Dad thinks for a while and then says this, “Me neither Gracie, killing is never a game. Pretend guns or real guns, shooting is shooting. For too many people all over the world, war is real life. What would a kid who’s lost his family to war say if he saw people treating it like a game?”
“I don’t want to go, Dad.” I whisper “I think it’s wrong, totally wrong.” My Dad nods sadly, he knows how much it meant to me.
When I go home that night, I tell my Mum too and between my parents they come up with an idea. “Why don’t you email your leader and tell her how you feel about laser tag? Maybe you could talk to all the others about your reasons.”
So I sat down and wrote this email to my cub leader.
Dear Akela (That’s what we call our leader)
She replied the next day: