la vie #2

It is an inclement Wednesday and, after a questionable driving lesson, I have holed myself up in my room to write and read, before meeting my mum in town and venturing out to work.
Life has been so good lately, I have felt uncharacteristically positive the past 2 or so weeks, and even found myself thinking "this feels so right". I am sort of terrified of slipping into the doldrums of anxiety again  but a) I know it'll both come and pass and b) I need to learn to treasure these moments, and have some idea of what made them so positive (i.e. being busy)

Last weekend I ventured to London to see both family (which was a little overwhelmed with "so what are you doing in your gap year?" questions, which I hate) and meet Dalal and Libby. The friday consisted of rapidly changing plans due to terrorist threats, shoreditch pubs, expensive, and disgusting, cocktails, chatter, laughs, feeling at ease and almond croissants. We also got very lost trying to find the station. Saturday, with Dalal, was filled with a 10k tour of London (on foot), pizza, sunsets on primrose hill, peng photo opportunities and questionable bus journeys. With both, I had a blast and left feeling so full of life and excitement and a desire to run from the past, as what I had created now felt so right. It felt like I'd known them both for years and I suppose that is the magic of this online world. I also began to realise that, whilst I have undoubtedly drifted from my school friends, there are so many other opportunities for friendship and adventure. For making my weekend so enjoyable and making this god damn gap year feel like the right thing, I am grateful to them both (ew cringe) and hope we can recreate soon.
Its just a feckin' shame I live so far away.
I purchased a film camera prior to the trip to London and am so excited to get them developed and share.

Oh shit, I knew there was so much to update. The weekend before London I went to Manchester with my good friend who's at uni here. We visited 2 friends who are at uni in Manchester, and another close friend surprised us by coming too. We had a blast of a weekend, filled with nausea-inducing coaches, a disgusting buffet, christmas markets, vodka cokes, a hilarious night out, drunken mistakes, exploration and endless gossip. It was so homely and warm to all be together, even in a different city, and I returned both exhausted and content.

And next weekend, after some serious DRAMA I am staying at home and greatly anticipating a night out in Newc before a long week in Oxford, contending with an interview, for which I am petrified. I am hoping to survive the trauma with a knowledge that their judgement does not define my worth and a copious number of beta blockers–because I actually want to be able to think straight?! I suppose its simply an opportunity to discuss my beloved subject in a beautiful city, and hopefully see my good pal who lives there. And get some banging pics.
And then I suppose Christmas will be upon us, for which I am getting excited with mince pie and christmas cake making and decoration exploration. I am looking forward to actually having time to feel festive this year.
Yesterday I went to my old school for a mock interview which was both unhelpful and strange, strange to see the world continuing without my place in it, and strange to experience the ease I felt. I spoke to a girl in my year who said she had hardly seen anyone from school, and I thought how odd it was that this tight knit world has so easily fallen apart. And today I received a lovely email from my favourite teacher at school and it made me miss him and the lessons and the community but I am also moving on to bigger and better things, which is exciting (and terrifying).
So yes, wow things feel busy. But good busy. I love being busy. Look out for my film photos, which I will post on here once the role is used up, and another A-level advice guide (focussed on History and English) to keep you all motivated.
And all please cross your fingers and toes for my oxford interview, not because my heart is set on it (Durham is, imo, just as desirable) but because its a scary thing and I feel like my knowledge is being TESTED TO THE MAX. Ok I now need to prepare, rather than procrastinate.

fuck the sexist dress code

A rant has been building up in my for quite some time, I don't really know why I haven't vented the burning rage before, but an article (this one, its very regional so probs not of much interest) re-ignited my fury.
source: here
It regards dress-code standards, specifically in schools. And fuck have I argued about this. Throughout my secondary school existence it was something I challenged: in year 8, when told every morning my skirt was too short, I would stretch it to my knees whilst I ran past the teachers then hoist it back up. In year 10, I gave up on fabricating a lengthened garment and just wore a tight, short skirt, exactly how I wanted to wear it. The same happened with tight trousers.
And every time, the same justification was brought to my attention: "because its inappropriate", " because it will attract unwanted attention", "because it isn't professional". But, on an impressionable 12 year old's mind, this was reinforcing, with great vengeance, that the avoidance of harassment, whether verbal or physical, and I've experienced both, came down to our clothing choices. That we had a duty to maintain an appearance that would mean that others wouldn't be provoked to cat call, to perv, to stare. Fundamentally, that harassment was our fault. In every assembly that addressed dress code, it was just girls. Only girls were asked to attend. Because the problem is only with girls, can't you see? They need to be chaste, covered, pure, innocent. It was never suggested that the perpetrators had a duty to control themselves, treat girls like people and that society, and thus school, had a duty to deconstruct the macho expectations of masculinity that teach boys that its okay to behave like that.

source: here
In sixth-from, a new dress code was introduced. Of the 6 rules, 5 were aimed, directly, at the stereotypical image of women. No crop tops, no short shorts, no short skirts, no low cut tops, no bare shoulders. And for guys? No offensive slogans–which is, as you may have gathered, a uni-sex issue. There rules reinforce that woman have to remain covered, subversive. And the same justification was given, to maintain a "professional environment", because its a place of "work", because its "inappropriate". Other issues occurred, people being sent home for mid-drifts being on show (which undermines the girls education and implies that her appearance, and thus the protection of male sexuality and their attention and focus, is more important than the girls FUcking A-LEVELS).
When I challenged the new regulations, accusing them of being sexist because they singled out girls, the head of sixth-form responded "well maybe if you strip it back, they are sexist, but that's just the society we live in"
"but shouldn't we be working to break down those boundaries" I retorted. If we just accept that that's the way it is, nothing will change.

The most concerning thing, in my eyes, is the idea of clothing "distracting teachers". And worryingly, this isn't the first, or second, time I've heard of this. I vividly remember a teacher at school justifying the sexist regulations by saying there had been "complaints" of male teacher who felt "uncomfortable" with the clothing of students.
Not only does this maintain the superiority of masculinity and male comfort but it also, frankly, fucking creeps me out. In my eyes, if a male teacher feels uncomfortable or is distracted by what a female student, who would most likely be under 18, thus a minor, is wearing, then they shouldn't be teaching. They are in a position of authority, of loco-parentis in fact, and it feels so sleazy and seedy that, when girls are there to learn, just like everyone else, teachers are distracted by their legs or chest, and thinking that this may have happened to me is kind of repulsive.
source: here

There is so much wrong with the regulatory dress code enforced in many schools. Whilst a level of professionalism does need to be maintained, its teaching girls, and reinforcing the belief, that we are subordinate. That our preliminary role is to ensure that we don't distract men from achieving.  Because a girls education appears less important than the sexual tendencies of someone getting turned on by a shoulder (which doesn't actually happen, does it?) As well as being immensely heteronormative, it presents guys as sexual beasts that cannot tame their impulses nor exist beyond their sexual desires. Which isn't true, for the most part. This furthers the destructive image of masculinity that both perpetuates this issue and has many other disastrous consequences.  It also teaches that the female body is inherently sexual and is an object for which other people can dictate rules and regulations.
It cultivates the attitude that a girl's clothing invites attention, that rape is the victims fault if they happened to show some skin, that our bodies are not our own and that they need to be covered up.
Schools are supposed to be progressive, fostering the next generation to move our society on, but if they maintain the belief that dress code is superior to education, our society is screwed.

And I wish I could offer some advice on how to break down these boundaries. But I too am sort of stuck. And find myself succumbing to it, even now I've left school.

But I think I would say don't give in. Wear what you like, show as much leg, stomach, shoulder as you wish–I did, despite relentless protest, and it didnt hamper my education (because dress code doesn't actually affect your ability to learn!!). And challenge the status quo–if someone enforces sexist rules on you, ask why: why just girls? why do we need them? what are you doing to alter male dress code (e.g. pants on show)? instead why don't we tackle the issues surrounding the expectations of masculinity?

Let me know your thoughts and any advice you have to deconstruct these bullshit boundaries.

fashion faves

I've had a pretty great week, nothing special but busy, I've felt positive and stable. I'm embarking on a new therapy process (guided by myself) which involves 'not wallowing'. I used to be good at this but over A-Levels I found comfort in the stress. It became me. I've decided to push on through these feelings, see how it works.
Anyway, the glory of working means I have dolla to spend and, whilst much of this is going into savings (for what, I'm yet to figure–perhaps so if, in 5 months someone appears and invites me to travel the world, I have the means at my disposal) and other dull things, I have been exploring some new fashion options.

(I've also kind of forgotten how you write these fashiony–hauly posts–bare with)

When I was in Sheffield I came across some ace vintage items at superrr cheap prices and have been living in them. This sweatshirt is my fave. Its navy (fab), a sweatshirt (fab) and cropped (fab), it ticks all my boxes. It's even encouraged me to wear my mom jeans, which I previously hated. The shirt I also found in Sheff, and proceeded to wear that night. I also usually hate shirts (I'm not a fan of oversized clothing bc I'm small and frankly it drowns me) but enjoyed the aesthetic of this over a cami for a night out. Plus, it added a little warmth.

This jacket is the one thing I've been wanting to talk about, endlessly. I am obsessed. It too is oversized (!) but I think it looks ok (?) and I enjoy that it works as a house coat (lol)/fancy jacket. Its v warm (an essential) and isn't navy, which is a bonus as every jacket I own falls into that category. It was hideously expensive but, as I mentioned in a post many moons ago, it was my post-HAT treat and well, it was worth every penny.

Other fashion faves include my nike trainers (view here), not because they offer much stylistic value but because they are so fuckin comfy (but, note to self, get trashed on a night out). I've also loved my piercings–I got 2 new additions in the past few months and, once these have healed, will certainly be returning for more. I love how earrings can jazz anything up and they allow me to challenge my 'sensible' preconception (which falls into the idiocy of beauty standards–how can piercings make you look less sensible? but its true, and gurl is writing a post on this soon). Oh, I almost forgot, my love for long sleeves. I am living in and loving wearing long sleeve tops under t-shirts, allowing me to drag out the use of my beloved stripes for a little longer. Not only does it keep me warm but it also adds a lil touch, and I'm also loving a good turtle neck, under both sweatshirts and items such as the above. As my mum has repeatedly reminded me, "having your neck covered really does keep you so much warmer". Thanks mum.

SO yeah, just a few of the items I'm lavin.
I'm feeling the anxiety-inducing nature of friday evenings return, nostalgic for school and the past, which makes me frustrated that I still miss school, despite having left over 4 months ago. As my mum, therapist (for 1 session lol) and grandma said, I think I'm going through a kind of grief, which sounds oh so ridiculous but, when you invest SO much into a life event, is totally common and understandable, and will pass with time. Okay yeah so this is so ironic when considering the introduction of this post but its to remind myself of how I was a feeling. Both happy and sad, thanks Stephen Chbosky.

But really, I've got some exciting things coming up (woo) and life is good. And, understand that if you happen to see me within the next 2 months, I will undoubtedly be wearing at least 2 of the mentioned items.
Have great weekends kids.


I'm in a bit of a rut with writing, having both few ideas and little time/motivation to write them. What I write doesn't seem to quite fit my expectation or standard, or portray my intentions.
I need to practice, let go of the perfectionism, and scrawl, mark, stain the pages with frenetic marks of emotion until something feels right.
But until then, here are some of my favourite phrases/quotes.
People who so poetically express themselves.

"I have so much I want to tell you and nowhere to begin"–J.D Salinger

"I sit around and wonder about the fire in your eyes, the movement of your fingers, the way you slowly complicate my life"

"If I didnt think, I'd be much happier"–Sylvia Plath

"The world is big and I am not, but still I am enough"

"I don't pay attention to the world ending. It has ended for me many times and began again in the morning"

"I set out for a noiseless room then I remembered the silence depressed me"–Blackout poetry from Sylvia Plath

"I loved you as Icarus loved the sun, too close, too much"

"Ni santas, ni putas, solo mujeres"–Neither saints nor whores, only women

"Then it went dark and rained and rained and rained"–found in Oh Comely

"You are enough, you are so enough. It is unbelievable how enough you are"

"My brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness"–Virginia Woolf

"You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering"–Ernest Hemingway

"And from the chaos of her soul, there flowed beauty"–Louise Alexander Erstine

(this post was a lot less cringe in my head)

This morning was so super lovely. I drank copious amounts of tea with my two best friends and felt oh so relaxed. I looked at the clock and realised most of the day had gone, but it was like coming home. I now feel sort of sad that they're gone for another six weeks but relieved with the reminder that moments like that are still so enjoyable, no matter how relaxed or low-key. I am also beginning to realise that friendship doesn't have to rely upon daily contact, its more dependent on the moments you spend together. And they are bliss. One of my happiest, happiest memories of 2017, despite being so mundane, was the day of our history coursework deadline. With the work handed in, I spent the rest of the day with the same two pals and we played cluedo and ate pizza and cookies and just sat on my bed and talked and talked, days like that were always few and far between, but man they were special. Our minds and interests and habits are so similar, but we remain so individual and I rarely feel so myself. These memories and moments used to be the norm, but now their infrequency makes me treasure them even more. I am lucky.

I digress. Which of the above is your fave?
All the quotes/phrases were found on pinterest. You can view them all here.