Rant On Changing The World, The Importance Of Community In Our Society + My Challenge To You

Warning – this is going to be one very ranty post about a ton of things I’ve been thinking about recently so it might not make any sense. Please bear with me though ahaha. This blog is the one place I can just write my heart out and be totally honest so if anyone would give me their thoughts on this, I’d really appreciate hearing what you have to say 🙂

Everything I see around me shows me just how important it is to make a difference. Watching anthropology (the study of humanity) videos when I can snatch some spare Wi-Fi, hearing people talk about their stories, it makes me realise that our world is such a beautiful, messed up place full of such good, but broken people.

It’s the good things too – not just the bad, like when you see people standing up and making a difference in their communities, people like our friends Finlay and Ella who are striking for climate crisis and taking action for our generation, all the other inspiring people we’ve been meeting on this journey and, most of all, the team at CatZero (the charity my family are raising money for on our challenge).

It’s things I read and watch and the conversations I have. It’s Tip from the episode of ‘the Waltons’ that I watched with my family the other day- he’s the life of the party, so full of stories and extravagance and energy, but it’s all a fake. He has no purpose and no one and he’s dying inside because of it. I’ve written about it countless times because I see it so much in my generation. So many people I know are so over-the-top crazy and take nothing seriously, but I know them well enough to see how much they’re struggling underneath it all. They’ll never admit it though and it breaks my heart.

My Mum tells everyone that this trip is born out of my concern for my generation and the issues we’re facing and, although it’s just a word, I feel like such a fake when she says that. What do I know of their struggles? I feel like screaming. It’s not concern, it’s desperation. Tell me again that I should be ‘concerned’ when my friends are getting pregnant, overdosing on drugs, killing themselves, hurting themselves, being held back by their depression and anxiety, feeling alone and hopeless, tell me again that I should be ‘concerned’. I rattle it off like a list, but these are lives we’re talking about here. Human lives. Lives that being destroyed. Your sister. Your son. Your granddaughter. Your best friend. Tell me I’m being dramatic.

We’ve passed through so many little towns on the East Coast of Scotland, all places with bad reputations for drugs and poverty, visitors to that part of the country go round them or pass straight through and never stop. We were welcomed with open arms. These places are struggling, but they have such a strong sense of community, they are coming together and actively doing something to support one another.

Community is truly the answer. If people had a support network of people who cared about them and who they knew they could always depend on, if they were working together to achieve something and keep their community thriving, it would make such a difference.

Greta Thunberg stopped talking because of the effect the way our planet is heading was having on her and some days I understand how she feels, but every day there’s places for me to go and things for me to do and people for me to meet and I’m learning that action is the only way.

I often feel like I’m not doing enough. I lie awake at night because I’m overwhelmed by it all. When I write this, it makes me sounds so selfless, but that’s not the reality at all. I just feel the pain of my generation kinda like it’s my own and although that hurts a lot, it’s also incredibly motivating.

I’m well aware that it’s easy to ramble on about the faults in society and the struggles of young people (well, all people really) without coming up with any answers so that’s why my family are on a search. It’s been continued throughout this journey since starting a lifetime ago, though I think some of what we’ve experienced on this adventure even just in the last seven weeks has been just about the closest we’ve ever come to finding what we believe is the answer – true community.

It exists in little pockets around the world, for sure. Places like those little Scottish towns, but what we need is community on a worldwide scale. People committed to the well-being of their fellow people, people who care about the future generations, people who work in harmony instead of fighting and starting wars. It sounds a long way off, but it starts here, at home. Your family is a mini community of its own and families are just another thing that have broken down in our society today. If we started applying that same mindset of commitment and understanding to the people closest to us, it might just make a difference and you never know, it may reach Donald Trump eventually hehe.

I went on a climate strike with some friends the other day and it made me realise just how good it felt to stand up for something I believe in. That’s what it’s like on this challenge too. I want to challenge everyone (YOU included) just to take one small step towards making a difference in the world we live in.

Here’s something I wrote in my journal a couple of weeks ago that is kinda relevant to what I’m talking (ranting) about today –

I’m nearly ready for bed now and my hair is still wet from the sea. The island of Tiree off of the West coast of Scotland has always been my favourite place in the world, but Durness beach (where we are today) may be a contender for second place.

As soon as Mo (our van) pulled up, I leapt out of the back, skidded down the sand dune, ran across the beach and into the sea. The waves were crashing and the water was so beautiful and blue and so I proceeded to spend the next couple of hours in the ocean. I honestly think that one of the times when I’m at my happiest is when I’m swimming in the sea. It’s hard to describe the feeling except to say that it’s almost the opposite of hopelessness.

It’s simple, pure, sweet freedom and it’s so different from the ache that’s sometimes fills my heart. That’s partly why I love swimming so much. I can’t over-think and every single part of me is focused, plus I love the power and control I feel over my own movement and strength. Also, when I swim as part of a team, it’s like another mini community feeling. Being a part of something positive is so important and it’s what we all need.

Being on top of the world is an extreme, but it gives me hope and it makes me realise that we will all be okay.

I can’t get knocked down by negativity or what use I am to the revolution? As my friend Ruby always tells me, you can’t help anyone if you’re crying on the floor – focus on what you can do, focus on the solution.

We’ve all got to do what we can to help others and play our part in creating a better world. It won’t always be easy, but we’ve got to try. Small steps, people, small steps. Please do let me know how you get on!! I’m also well aware that it’s  not always easy to know what you can do to make a difference so if anyone wants to discuss it, shoot me an email through my contact page and we can have a conversation and figure it out together xx

btw, what posts do you all wanna see coming up? I had the idea to do one with letters to people who’ve meant a lot to me throughout my life or there’s always more rants haha…?? Let me know in the comments xx

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Deeds Not Words ~ A Lil’ Rant

When I sat down to post today, I was going to share some quotes that have inspired me recently, but then I thought differently. I am surrounded by people talking about things whilst the problem just gets worse and, although I definitely see the importance of communicating and sharing thoughts, I also see the need for action.

My Dad has always told me  ‘deeds not words’ and I believe he’s right. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the darkness around us, but we have to use the emotion, that anger, sadness and confusion, to make a difference.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to put my energy into solving problems and creating solutions and I want you to do the same. This applies to everything – relationships & friendships as well as bigger issues that affect our families, communities and society.

 

 

A Teenage Perspective: Q&A Collab With Erin @KittyJadeBlog

Hey there people,

Today I bring you a Q&A collab with Erin from KittyJadeBlog. We’ll both be sharing our experiences, opinions and thoughts on the world around us, all from a teenage perspective. To read my answers to Erin’s questions, head over to her blog– be sure to follow, she’s a talented writer and her posts always give me something to think about.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing young people in our society?

I know from experience that comparison is one of them. Just looking through your best friend’s story on Snapchat can trigger a certain nerve in your brain that says ‘I wish I was having a day out with my friends’ or ‘I wish I looked as good as her’ etc. Instagram also does this, but you have got to think: would you post a selfie of yourself when you are having a really bad day? Would you not edit your photo before you post it? No one is perfect, no one is not insecure about something (external or internal) and if they did love every bit of themselves every day – they would be vain.

This is very clichè but: when you are happy this won’t matter. Consider your feelings over your body. This is how you are made and you can’t change things (without spending loads of money) about the skin and bone. Maybe take a break from the mirror, the selfie camera, and see the difference.

What do you find most frustrating about the society we live in?

At the moment I am at an age where either you are mature, sensible and hardworking or time-wasting, immature and foolish. I know where I kind of fit in. I go to school and I see people in my form wasting their education because they ‘can’t be bothered’. They are ungrateful for this free education that they have and never considering someone who doesn’t have an education and wants one. So my main frustration is ungratefulness. It is hypocritical of me to say that but if we could change the importance of money and put happiness there instead I think that people would be more grateful. Young people don’t work as much to live nowadays (in certain countries, like England for example) and obviously you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

If I could change one thing, it would be to get people bothering again – rather than can’t be bothered.

What are your plans for the future?

I have only ever been to two continents (Europe and America) so one big thing of my ‘bucket’ list would be to travel and try to explore every continent of the world. In my near future is university. I would like to study politics and English but I’m not sure what the outcome of that would be. Art is another thing that would be an option I could potentially succeed in but the subject would be a hobby, not a career choice. Or maybe it will. I don’t like to plan too far ahead; it will kick me in the butt.

Tell us something you have read/experienced/heard about that has changed the way you have lived your life?

Over the years of my life, many things have influenced me and had a great impression on me. I do not think I could narrow it down to one thing. People obviously play a big part in all of our lives and my biggest influence is the one thing I have grown up with: school. I am so super grateful that I have the opportunity for a free education at the moment and I appreciate the influences that it has on me: so many experiences available, so many people I can see and good and bad influences clearly separated.

If the whole world was listening to you for a couple of minutes and you had their full attention, what would you say?

I love this question. Despite having this great opportunity, I would probably be speechless. There are so many different people in the world and I would want to offend anyone – so I’d probably stay silent. Maybe an awkward ‘hello’? Probably just a smile.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out Erin’s blog to read my answers to her questions.

Now, tell us your thoughts! Discussions welcome in the comments section down below. We wanna hear your answers…from your perspective….

Empty

Sad eyes on smiling faces. I can’t bear it when I see my friends and other young people of my generation hiding their pain behind this mask of fake confidence and a don’t-care attitude. I’ve seen them cry, I’ve heard them talk and sometimes we don’t see what’s deeper down. So why don’t we all quit hiding and start sharing. Here’s a poem lol 👇

Empty

emptiness.

they say it’s like a blank space.

they say it’s so shallow.

they say it’s a defence,

but what does it replace?

what i want to know is

-honestly –

does it make it better?

or does it just numb the pain?

just for awhile, of course, ’cause we both know it won’t stay away.

 

well, i guess maybe i wouldn’t know ’cause,

i am not the suicide joke,

or the false laughter that follows,

i am your tears as you sob into my shirt,

’cause this is your story

and i ask you ‘why joke about what almost killed you?’

 

that laughter makes me angry.

why, why do you make this into something funny?

all i want is to tell you it will be okay,

don’t be ashamed of your pain.

you’re not empty. you’re not empty.

 

you are made from heart-shaped scars,

deep breathing, panic rising,

you are talking to the stars ‘cause you’re hurting

and they’re the only ones listening.

you are biting your lip and tasting blood and screaming

you are strength because you are tired of feeling weak

this is your story

you are anything but empty.

 

you are made from shattered glass and picking up the pieces

you are made from getting hurt and feeling like you’re worthless

there is ugliness in your pain

but from that truth comes beauty

do not hide behind that mask of empty, empty, empty.

Positively Rebellious™

I am a total, self-confessed rebel. I love going against the grain and, of course, I love my rock hands 🤘, but recently I’ve been thinking…how can I put that spirit to good use? How can I use it to really make a difference?  In our society there are so many negative things that we can rebel against and so much that we should do differently.

 

I’ve come up with this list of things both you and I can do to be Positively Rebellious™. If you’re up for a challenge, have a go and let me know how you get on!

  • Dance in the street (or wherever you like really…supermarkets are also pretty good)💃
  • Just forget about what other people think of you for awhile. Prepare to be liberated!
  • Tell someone that you love their smile 😄
  • Speak your mind and be honest. It will get you so much further than faking it and if people don’t like it…well…tough 😂
  • Stand up for something you believe in 💪
  • Turn your music up, up, up 🎧
  • Stop dwelling on the problems and put your energy into coming up with solutions.
  • Do something you’ve always been too scared to do before. You’ll be fine! ☺️
  • Commit a random act of kindness ❤️
  • Use something you’re passionate about to help someone else.
  • Let go, laugh 😊
  • Take crazy photos 📸
  • Consciously put someone else before yourself 👍
  • Tell people you care about that you love them 💕
  • Share whatever you can in whatever ways you can 🤝
  • Be a pirate (or whatever else you feel like being) for the day ☠️
  • Don’t just follow the crowd, always make the decision to do the right thing 👍
  • Swim in the sea – it will be cold, but I can promise you it’s worth it 🌊
  • Don’t walk – run! Or hop! Or skip! Or jump! Or sail 😏😏
  • Forgive someone for their mistakes ❤️
  • Wake up early and watch the sunrise 🌇
  • Send someone an encouraging text 🤛
  • Most importantly, think for yourself! Act upon what you believe in, do something about what you care about and dare to be different ✌️

If you have anything to add, don’t hesitate to comment down below! Also, I would absolutely love to hear how you get on being Positively Rebellious™ so be sure to let me know. I hope this inspired you and made you smile 😊 so, what are you waiting for, Positive Rebels?! Get out there and go!

Playground Swings

 

Playground Swings – a poem

**all photo credits to my sister**

silence
a child’s cry
they both call me to this place of familiarity
at different times
I think it’s
the security of a soft landing
the comfort of children playing
the simplicity of just saying
or
or it’s the lonely poeticness of a playground when it’s empty,
the cold, quiet paradox of a place like this in silence.
and something about the way
I can always smile here

thinking out loud on playground swings,
these creaking chains are the only ones that will ever set me free,
and yet still I’m trapped,
torn back down to earth
by the limits of my wings,
I want to fly higher
and I will
never quite knowing
stomach lurching
you will catch me when I’m falling
right?

Hood up
pulled over my face like a shadow
legs stretched to the sky
lips and mind searching for the ‘why’
in everything

my fingers are getting cold
kinda slipping
letting go
I’ve been here too long
nostalgia
memories burn holes
in your pocket
matches set fire to the past
then watch as flames destroy souls
and poetry is composed
and the future is all they leave us
covered in ash
so close and yet so far away

the wind blows in my face
just reminding me of its power
I rise and fall like the waves
and I can do nothing
yet I still strike out for the shore
and swim
but sometimes I am torn between
the devil and the deep blue sea
and sometimes
the mystery of the horizon
is too beautiful
and I fill the ocean with my tears
whilst the tide takes me
and I have to decide whether to fight
or to let go.

but I am stronger
I am stronger
than anyone knows
and I will sing a song
my song
and people will hear me
and they will lean over the fence and listen
and I will be a child on a playground swing again

To The Boy With Real Courage

Just had to share this xx

I saw a teenage boy at the pool with his mum and his sister today and I was like ‘aw, that’s so sweet’ that he came swimming with his family, most boys that age that I know wouldn’t even dream of doing that. So then I keep doing my lengths and when I get back to the shallow end, I see his mum getting out some bright orange armbands and suddenly he’s putting them on and I’m like ‘what?!’ because my brain was having a hard time processing this. He’s climbing into the pool and kinda visibly shaking like he’s super scared and his mum and sister are really encouraging and supporting him. He doesn’t look embarrassed at all – just terrified, but kinda super focused at the same time.

So he gets in the pool and he’s taking tiny steps and he looks really afraid, but he’s doing it and his family are helping him and he seems so determined and I’m swimming along smiling ’cause that’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in awhile. That is true courage.

 

2018 – The Year Of The Ship

2018. Where do I even start?

I’ve honestly been staring at this screen for over six minutes and I still have no idea. So much has happened this year and it’s all going through my head right now and I can’t even….it’s just….a whole year is such a long time and I’ve changed so much and experienced so much and I don’t know how to begin explaining that.

I’ve called this post The Year Of The Ship because that’s what it is in my mind. Sailing ships and friendships ☺️ here goes….

Life’s weird. I wasn’t expecting to go on a sailing voyage and come back like ‘Bam, I know what I’m gonna do with my life now’ but hey, that’s what happened! That first trip sparked my love for sailing and the ocean and the whole seafaring way of life and I realised that I could use this to make a difference. 

I’ve been on three voyages since and, in total, have spent a whole month at sea this year! I’ve met some of my best best best friends and have completely and irreversably fallen in love with sailing and sail training.

This year has been really hard and full of challenges.  I feel as though major changes are constantly being thrown at me. Teenage life isn’t easy as I’m sure many of you well know and trying to juggle relationships, my future, feelings, new responsibilities and changing the world is pretty demanding, ya know? 😉 

I honestly think 2019 has made me a completely different person and that I’ve changed so much, in a positive way, for sure 🙂 

I think I’ve finally found a world I belong in and at the same time, a way to make a difference. I feel both lost and found, if that makes sense. As if I’ve found a place and people to belong to and yet I’m still searching and still trying to make the world a better place. 

I also just want to mention all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with this  year – blogging friends, real life friends, the crew of Pegasus voyage 1 & 2, the crew of Alba Explorer and all my Small Ships Race mates. 

2018 hasn’t been an easy year for anyone and I’m so so so proud of everyone for getting through it and being the incredible people that I know. Love ya all. Stay strong. 

I think that pretty much sums up my unsum-up-able year lol. To listen to my soundtrack for 2018 click here for a playlist I made for a few friends. It’s full of all the songs that mean the most to me and I’d love for you to give it a listen 💕 

How has your 2018 been? What’s been the most important thing to you this year? Would you say that you’ve changed a lot? Did you listen to the playlist? 

 

 

Be A Little ‘Sadder’

Disclaimer: this post could be seen as a bit controversial. I just want to begin by saying that I’m not blaming anyone, I’m simply sharing my experiences and opinions and, as always, feel totally free to comment below if you disagree. I would love to hear your thoughts.

In our society so many positive things are labeled as negatives. Putting effort into something or taking it seriously is seen as ‘lame’ and having a dream and putting all your heart into following it is seen as ‘sad’.

I have had many experiences of people telling me that something I’ve done or made or that something I strongly believe in is ‘cringy’. Who are they to tell me that?

They don’t understand the motivation and dedication it takes to get up and go to work every day of your summer holidays to fund for something you love to do. They don’t understand the reason that you take your education seriously and the mindset of doing something to the best of your ability because you learn from it and you can be proud of what you’ve achieved.  To do something to help someone else because we need more kindness in this world.  To put your soul into making our society a better place to live in when you could just care about yourself.  To them that’s uncool. It’s lame. It’s sad.

They don’t understand what it’s like to love something so much that it hurts. To think of it during every moment, to dream of it day and night. To want to dedicate your life to it. To be willing to work hard and sacrifice to get where it is that you want to go.

I look at those people who call me sad or lame and I think about whose future looks brighter. Mine or theirs? I feel sad for people who don’t take anything seriously, who believe that life is a joke because that is what their life will be. One big joke. We will be following our dreams, making a difference and living our lives the way we have created them and they will have missed out on that because of their ignorant perceptions.

I feel sad and angry. People’s lives could be so much more. They could be so much better.

So be a little ‘sadder’, don’t be afraid of being called ‘lame’. All I’m asking is that we change the way we think a little bit, rewind and ask ourselves ‘Why are we calling that lame? Why is that sad?’ Often the things we dismiss or label are priceless, beautiful things that we can learn a lot from if we really take the time.

Please comment and share! I believe that this is a really important issue for our society to become aware of and I would love to hear what you think?