Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Labels

Hello fellow Human Beings (and all other manners of creatures who may one day read this blog - cats are very clever, y'know)! My post today is apparently a deep one so go grab a hot chocolate and prepare for some major brain food. 

Welcome to my little look at labels. "What's that?" you may ask! Well, I was having a chat with a friend the other day about labeling ourselves - she saw them in a positive light and I saw them in a negative way so I figured it was due some further exploration. To do this I have asked some of my lovely family and friends to give me their views on the matter so that I, as well as you, could see the many sides of the argument. When looking into this it's also important to remember that there are different sorts of labels - people label looks, medical conditions, behaviours and sexuality (to name only a few). Right. On with our first view....

"I think that most people will try and convince themselves/others that they believe labeling people is wrong and that we should be completely free to make our own decisions and be our own person because that's what everyone seems to always be banging on about these days. In reality, I think that labels are kind of necessary to an extent because they make people easier to identify, so I can describe someone using a label and most people will know what I'm talking about. I do think it's important to be labeled in terms of other people being able to understand you, but equally I think it's wrong to use labels to define someone in their entirety."
This really made me think about labels in the way they are used. For example, instead of somebody saying "I believe in God who wrote the 10 commandments thousands of years ago, led many people to the promised land and later sent his son, Jesus, down to Earth as a baby, born of a virgin called Mary. When Jesus was 33 he got crucified and was put in a tomb and rose 3 days later. I celebrate Easter and Christmas and partake in practices such as prayer and Bible reading." it's a lot easier to just go "I'm a Christian" and have done with it. Due to common knowledge using that label (and yes, it is a label) immediately lets people know what your views are based on and cuts out the waffle.

"I think the most important thing on that one is behaving in the way that brings you most joy; the label should be irrelevant if you're truly happy with who you are and being true to yourself. Especially in childhood, a 'tomboyish' sense of adventure is such a valuable thing, but doesn't negate the enjoyment that can be found from more stereotypically 'girly' activities like experimenting with makeup- I certainly did both!"
I have often thought about the labels of young children - girls are often thought to be girly or tomboyish and I spent much of my primary school life trying to work out which one I was. I used to climb trees on a weekly basis, go down to river and attempt to catch fish with my hands (this was regularly very unsuccessful) and hanging around with the guys of my class. I also used to love dancing and singing, skipping around the playground, chatting about Girls Aloud and putting on my own fashion shows. You may, as I do, see all of these activities as if they do not fit into a category - that boys and girls can do any of these things. However, it cannot be denied that those activities do fit into those stereotypes which have undoubtedly established themselves in society.
Going back to this quote more directly, I agree that as long as you are happy, the label should not be relevant - but does that mean that if you are unhappy, you should try and fit into a category in an attempt to find a comfortable place? I don't expect you to answer that - it was rhetorical :P

Another thing to think about is whether or not labels stop you from being who you truly are. I personally think this depends on the person - ones personality may perfectly fit into, for instance, the "flamboyant homosexual" category that society had provided us. In this case the label is not stopping the person from being who they are, but instead describing it. On the other hand, a homosexual woman may feel pressured to either be a "butch" or "lipstick lesbian", changing their looks and personality traits to fit these labels. In this case, due to the woman feeling as though she has to fit into a category, is that stopping her from just accepting her true self, or is it her just finding out who she really is?

Labels are developing everywhere - not only in social situations, but also in technology, medicine, psychology and sociology. My next opinion links labels with the medical profession:
"Labels within the medical profession are arguably the only means by which people can get the treatment they need; without defined diagnostic criteria, the logistics of treatment for the vast majority of conditions would be impossible to manage." Correct. Although we may not always think about it in this way, labels are used every single day in the medical profession to diagnose illnesses. Anyway, let us continue... "However, the problems arise when people begin to find their identities as a characteristic that describes their 'weakness' (even if this is often only self-perceived) or suffering. Particularly when conditions such as Autism or ASD are concerned, a system without labels would perhaps be more conducive to a society in which individuals are defined by their strengths, and thus held in far greater esteem, both by their peers and themselves." I really appreciate this view, as it is not something I've ever really been about to put into words and here it is put so simply. It is not the label itself that is the problem, but rather the way that it is perceived. If a label has negative connotations, people will feel negative about those who have that label applied to them. I'm going to use dyslexia to expand on this: I have a couple of dyslexic friends - one of them hates the fact that people know them as having dyslexia. They feel that it suggests that they are slow, dumb and awkward to deal with. My other friend, however, has said to me that using the word 'dyslexia' to be able to describe themselves makes their life easier, it helps people to understand the difficulties they face and that they understand that everyone has something that sets them apart from everyone else. Maybe labels are okay - we just need to stop using them as tools to judge people with.

This brings me on to labels being used to judge. It is true, is it not, that we have all used a label to describe somebody after meeting them for the first time? Everyone has, because we are human, analysing people when we first meet them to try and understand their qualities and quirks. Here is a view about labels being used to judge:
"I don't like labels. I think that often you are labelled by others before they have actually had a chance to get to know you. Labels often come about pretty instantly on first meeting. A lot of people will then never get past that." This is so true. There's some saying that the first impression is really important - just think about interviews. People who attend an interview for a place on a course or for a job think about what they are going to wear, and how they answer questions. When filling out forms or surveys people often do not put down their religion or sexuality because they feel they could get judged on it - which they could be. Open minds, people. Open minds...

And finally, what about labeling ourselves? This is what I was initially thinking about in my discussion with my friend the other day - I personally make the conscious decision to avoid labeling myself. I hate the thought that if I label myself as something, people are going to see me as only that - what if I change as life continues? Surely people will then think I'm something I'm not... Plus, everyone interprets labels in different ways so where is there a universal understanding anyway?
Before I waffle too much, here is someone else's view on this...
"With regard to labeling myself, I try not to. Because I think it can hold you back from being what you want to be. Does this make sense? So I guess I could label myself as [something that] I don't want to be. But if I believe my label, I might never strive to be what I want to be. I guess equally throughout life what you are and the way you are changes so much. If your labelled as 'x' you might never feel you can change to 'y' because that's not who you are. But who says you can't change?"
Do you agree? If you were to label yourself as something, would that prevent you from seeing the possibility of change? As the closing question of that says, there is no reason why people cannot change their labels, but I suppose it depends on the person - some people would feel more confident to go against their labels and others would feel uncomfortable if they did that. Are there any labels you have which you don't like? What says you can't change them?

To finish up, I'd like to conclude with this view which I think sums everything up in a pretty good way - it works for some and not for others so do whatever makes you happiest:
"I would have to sit on the fence on this one, to some people the label gives them a sense of belonging and understanding who they are, it makes them feel comfortable in knowing there are others like them. To others the label is something that others put on them and they don't like it. So overall I would say if you label yourself you are probably happy with it, if others label you then you probably won't like it."

Thank you so much for bearing with me on this one. I know it was long, and if you have managed to stay with me all the way down to here, I really appreciate it. Writing a blog post on such a vast topic is actually a lot more difficult that it first appeared! I'd like to thank those of you who contributed and I'd also like to encourage people who feel like they have something else to say or people who agree with a certain point to comment below - I'm so interested to hear all of your views. There's also a poll to your left where you can feedback too :)
I hope this post has made you think a little and made you consider your own views on labels alongside those which I have included in this article. If you have a label you're not comfortable with and can do something about it - do. You have that ability.

Have a lovely week, and thank you again for keeping up with my blog!
Sarah

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

"Targets for Improvement"

We received our school reports last Friday. Mine wasn't too bad, thank God. But I was having one of my "deep" moments and thought about how I can somehow relate the whole "Targets for Improvement" section to...life. So here are some random targets for improvement for myself and the wider population...

Tolerance
This is, I believe, a key life skill. Tolerance is showing the willingness to allow/put up with the existence of opinions or behaviour that one does not necessarily agree with (that was a mixture of a dictionary definition and my own). I have found that this is most necessary in two very common situations: in religious situations and in dealing with personalities and lifestyles. 
The first seems obvious yet seems to be a huge difficulty for many. Why on earth can people not accept that others have a different belief to them, when it really doesn't affect them very much? I see no need to shove a religion down somebodies throat and then condemn others when they do it to you. Just agree to disagree and let them get on with it.
In the latter situation, I'm partially referring to annoying people. Many people are horrible to somebody who is perhaps a bit loud, or quirky without really thinking to just leave it alone. I've personally found that making comments in situations like this creates drama and upset and is just plain unnecessary. Tolerate it. Yes, they're annoying. Yes, they're frustrating. Yep, they are invading your personal space. You have the ability to move away from the situation or to just front it out and stay as calm as the sea when there aren't any waves. I'm also referring to lifestyles or particular parts of personalities such as being slim, well-built, homosexual, focused on studying, ambitious BLAH BLAH BLAH. If it doesn't effect you, who gives a flying donkey? If you do it's probably time to evaluate why... If the answer to that is "because I don't like it" I recommend you learn the skill of tolerance. I believe it makes you a very sound and well-balanced person.

Respect
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me!
Well, okay. I will. The dictionary definition of respect is the 'due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others'. This basically means you take into consideration what you're about to say before you say it, bearing in mind who you're saying it to, your relationship to them and what you intend to say. I generally try to ensure I am showing people respect because I don't want to be treated with disrespect. I kinda run on a "You respect me, I respect you" basis. It's only when people disrespect me (and intend on doing so) that I can get a little sassy with them. One of the traditional values of society is to respect your elders - I have heard so many people wonder why there is no value for younger people to be respected, like...why it's so ageist. I think that the value is mostly down to the fact that most teenagers are moody and always assume the parent knows nothing and teens know best. But I don't think that saying/value should restrict us. If an old man asked me politely to move on a bus so he could sit down, I would do so immediately. However, if the old man came up to me yelling the odds about how disrespectful I was that I hadn't moved yet, I'm not sure I'd be too inspired to move, to be honest. He has shown me disrespect and so does he deserve it back? Well, I suppose that's something you evaluate in that situation and you generally have wonder about in life anyway. But if everyone just had that little bit more respect for one another, there'd probably be hell'a lot less commotion. 

Optimism

What's the point in everything going wrong all the time and doing nothing but moaning about it? There's no point to giving up when you've tried so hard. There's no point in being miserable about something because you haven't had it for long enough, or you didn't get enough out of it. For me, being positive - oh, sorry - optimistic, is an incredibly important thing to be. Putting on a brave face and looking for the good stuff in the bad has always helped me through things...an example is when I was 12 and my parents broke up. I was upset, and all cry-y and such like, but not long after they broke the news to me I was sitting in the garden and thought to myself "I can either take this really badly and be all rebellious and make life hell for them... or I can try and pull myself together and try and see the good in it." The next thing I did was turn around to my Mum and ask her how big my room was going to be and what colour the walls were. I know it seems a bit weird - almost like I was excited - but I needed something to look forward to in the midst of all the crazy. 
You didn't get that grade after you revised so hard for it - so take it as a learning opportunity, see where you went wrong and work on it. You'll be a whole lot smarter when you're done.
You auditioned for the school show and got "Door Man 2" and only have one line - at least you got a line, unlike the other 70 who auditioned and are unnamed characters. Plus, you still get the experience of being in performance and don't even have to stress about memorising half a script! And don't give up because those rehearsals could have displayed how hard working you are and you may have improved through doing it too.
You've borrowed your friends XBOX ONE but they want it back because they've got a new game for it..and well, it's theirs. So, you didn't get to finish your game and you have lost your daily evening entertainment... but your friend did lend you their XBOX as well as the game you were playing and you enjoyed it when it was there. When something isn't there anymore, you can miss it but I see more point in remembering how great it was when it was there than thinking of where it is now and being all down about it.
If you got to choose between being happy or sad, which one would it be? Happy, I presume? Optimism and staying positive is key to that. It takes away the negativity and heartache of life, and gives you goal and some motivation to keep going. If you find it hard to be optimistic, running helps. Or taking up any enjoyable hobby, as a matter a fact... exercise is scientifically proven to help improve your mood too, and in turn help your view of life events. Because I'm happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!


Obviously it's impossible to be tolerant, show respect and be optimistic all the time, but it's worth putting the effort in because it does positively impact you in the long run, as well as everyone else. If you get stuck, talk to someone about it or just try again tomorrow. Take out frustration in exercise or baking cakes, and clear your head with a walk or yoga or something once in a while. 

That's me done. My eyes are going funny because it's late and really I shouldn't be doing this right now... Don't forget to comment with any of your own stories, anything you agree with or something you want to challenge! And share this to friends and family if you so desire - if you'd like to become a member of my page, look to the right-hand side panel. Hope you're all well!

Be back soon,
Sarah


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Update

Hello, my lovelies! How nice of you to visit - how are you all? Brill. 

I just thought I'd let you know what's going on or "upcoming" on this here blog. WELL, I have an almost finished blog to post which speaks of random things. Unlike usual. As well as this there have been some additions to the website! I'd like to introduce to you...

How not to do things                and my                Year 13 Survival Guide

Each of these pages have an explanation as to what their purpose and are available for you to read RIGHT NOW. But before you dash off to look those, I would also like to tell you some other news...follow ups, to be exact. You know my post about my reasons for running the Race for Life? Well you're donations helped to raise £350 for Cancer Research UK for which I am incredibly grateful. I ran through mud, crawled through tunnels lined with mud, under army nets coated in mud and finally had to army crawl through a paddling pool of the stuff. I also made some friends about 2k into the race who ran with me the rest of the way. Without them, it would have been a whole lot harder - so thank you Sami and Shaz! It was fabulously muddy and extremely hard work but my lovely readers, family and friends got me through that with their love and support. So, once again, thank you for that.

Next on the list is a pledge (is that what you call it?) - A lot of you guys tell me that you enjoy reading my blog posts and the odd one or two inspire your brain to think a little...sooooooo, why not leave a comment? When you reach the end of the post you're reading, just click the "comments" button and you'll be able to leave a couple of your thoughts or ask a question! Oh, and you can stay anonymous too, so you don't need to worry about that.
Alongside this, I'd like to point out that there is the option to become a member of my blog, receiving an email when a post is...posted. AND there are share buttons (email, twitter, facebook etc.) underneath each article too. 

I'll shut up now - I've been procrastinating long enough! I do hope you all have a lovely week and keep smiling even when it's tough.

Be back soon!
Sarah

Monday, 21 July 2014

Fact or fiction?

Quick tip: Grab a cuppa and a chocolate bar...

Should we only be taught "the facts" in life? In every school there will always be a handful of parents who, until it is proven as solid fact, will disagree with their child being taught about evolution and the big bang. In taking science out of the equation, some parents will not allow their children to read the Harry Potter series due to it being fictional and magical. Time to dissect this? I've never dissected anything apart from a chicken wing in Biology, but I'm sure having a go won't do any harm...

Surely things such as fairytales, Harry Potter, and many other fictional readings (some may count the Bible in this) allow the reader to think outside the box, allowing innovation, empathy and the view of behaviour and where certain actions may get you. No, a frog may not turn into a prince and as far as science can see this is impossible and will never happen (sorry, kids). But doesn't such a story tell of being kind to all creatures, and not judging a frog by its looks? In the Disney production of The Princess and The Frog, Tiana's friend, Charlotte, hears the story and immediately wants to find a frog to kiss - I'm sure this can sometimes happen with young children but what's the harm in allowing them to try and catch a frog to kiss it? Nothing bad can come of it really...

Does it matter if such fiction is overplayed? As long as one doesn't go seeking out a dragon and in doing so jumps off a waterfall (without the necessary training and safety equipment) surely there is no harm in allowing the mind to wander. I believe that my reading of Harry Potter and the Arthurian legends have not hindered me in any way regarding my development into a young adult nor have I experienced any desire to discover magic or unworldly things through the whole of my childhood. So what can be the harm? Well...I've done some research...

We all know that J.K. Rowling has been unbelievably clever in using her knowledge of Latin, history and cultures in writing the Harry Potter series, but there's still more to unfold. Here is an extract from an article I found online:
 “Through the sacrificial goddess magic of his mother’s love, baby Harry is saved and his blood is given magical powers. Unable to kill Harry, in revenge, Voldemort sears a death curse of a lightning bolt on Harry’s forehead.” (Some have criticized the imagery behind the lightning bolt itself.) Rowling..is very familiar with occultic practices, using elements and philosophies behind “pagan religions, celtic religions, the religions of the druids, witchcraft, [and] satanism.”
Some people who are not so keen on the old religions of the world really do not seem to be that keen on the book since right from the outset, nothing is without those elements but what can you expect? This is a book about magic and so Rowling has used her historical and religious knowledge to lay the very foundations of her tale. Let us continue...

Here is a different source of interesting views. Yahoo answers. This may or may not be a troll but somewhere in the world people will certainly be thinking along these lines...
"I am a new mother and have adopted a young boy called Leo but he wants to read Harry Potter" Okay lady, stop right there. You've adopted him BUT he wants to read a book? Oh dear, send him back. "The thing is, is this book evil? i am worried if I let my Leo read that book he will start thinking evil things like mortals gaining power, I think that could scare him...Leo is young sensitive child, I don't like the thought of him reading about mortals who get powerful and kill people," Firstly, the grammar here is brill. Secondly I'd like to point out that young Leo is 15 years old. Thirdly, oh my gosh, I read Harry Potter so I'm now going to get powerful and kill people. "I have heard they named an owl Hermes...This to me is wrong" The name of an owl is the problem here guys... "and I don't want Leo exposed to this as he has been guided to worship the greek gods, as he is a demigod" Yep. This lady's only-just-adopted kid is half-God, half-mortal. She then goes on to say that Hermes is the father which kinda makes Leo's mum like the Virgin Mary. Unless Leo had a slightly more passionate mother ;)
I know this quote is stupid but it is a good reminder that Harry Potter is not only seen as a bad thing by some Christians but other people with other faiths/beliefs have their reasons too. 

Finally, a less religious view of why Harry Potter should be avoided (click here to read full article) says that the hero's of the book series constantly break the rules, either ethically, in school or according to the wizarding laws without really getting any punishment for it. In fact, they break the rules without giving it a second thought in order to achieve their aims...just as the villains do. The writer then sums it up by saying "Children who read the books are thus being taught the wrong lessons about ethics and ethical behavior." Honestly, this guy must have some bright kids because I had never really noticed.

Right, that's enough talking about Harry Potter. Apologies if it all seemed a little too focused but I believe that it made a good example considering I have heard so many differing views on the subject. Out of fiction and onto...SCIENCE. Jeez, this could be interesting. 

First thing's first - the most common issue I have found with people opposing scientific theories is that they don't actually know what the theory says. Many people assume that evolution states that we were chimps and woke up 100 years later as humans. This is not what the theory says and I suggest that if you didn't know that, you go look it up (see, I've done half the job for you). Through saying this I am in no way implying that if you have read or understood a theory you need to believe it. You don't. I  don't believe in quite a few scientific theories and even scientists don't believe in all theories. It's also key to remember that we don't know very much. Granted, we know a hell of a lot more than we used to now the world is round n'all but there is still so much more to find out and more to discover. I personally don't think we could ever even know everything there is to know about the human body. This is a crazy world. 

Jumping back to where I mentioned the exclusion of children from learning about scientific theory/fact, there can be a couple of points made. Firstly, no scientific fact is fact. They're all theories which have not been proven wrong - I mean you're hardly going to say gravity is a load of lies are you? Well...I know someone who would... But anyway, the fact that the children are being taught evolution and the big bang as fact just means it hasn't been proven wrong yet so looks more and more likely to be what actually happened. And no, quoting the Bible will not be evidence to prove it wrong as many people see the Bible as fact just like you may see the big bang. Secondly, I've found that an open mind has helped me in many aspects of my life. Learning about something you don't necessarily believe doesn't have to be a waste of time but can be a chance to widen your general knowledge and better empathise with others.

Let's end it here, eh? There is some food for thought - something to think about next time you watch Harry Potter, sit through a Physics lesson or find your kid reading fairytales... I hope this blog was interesting for you and made you look at the little things (that's so cheesy!). Please do leave a comment if you have anything to say on the matter and share with people who might find this interesting.

See you soon!
Sarah


Oh and if you have the time and fancy a laugh, have a read of this article.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Why I'm running the Race for Life.

Hi guys! I hope you've all been well and enjoying the sunshine! I just thought I'd take the opportunity to let you know why I've opted in to run the Race for Life next Saturday. There are so many people who take part in the race, each with their own stories. Some are fighting, some are survivors, others are running in memory or in support of a family member or friend and others just fancy a jog for a good cause. I fall into the "running in memory" category. 

On the 13th February earlier this year I lost somebody who I had become extremely close to. Her name was Sue and she was (and still is) absolutely fabulous.

Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 or so years ago and went for a double mastectomy within 3 weeks of finding out (she was a brave one). Through chemo and her reconstruction she stayed strong and continued to do so when they found that she had lung metastasis and later on, brain metastasis. For those who don't do Biology, the long word beginning with 'm' means cancer had spread. After spending Christmas day with us her health took a steady drop, seeing her extremely ill in her last week with us. It was during that week that I promised her I would do the Race for Life. On 13th February, with myself, my Dad, Sue's brother and her best friend around her, Sue beat the cancer in the only way she could. She is still with us everyday and her laugh is unforgettable.

My story is probably similar to many others but the person is so unique and close to my heart. I just want to share with you a couple of bits from my speech at Sue's funeral...
"Sue was one of those people you look at and say "I want to be just like her." She was strong-willed, brave, caring, always had a smile on her face and never failed to put one on mine. I feel extremely privileged to have been able to meet, spend time with and know such a strong lady. Sue has made an impact on each and every one of us and our memories shall continue to do so."

Now, let's get one thing straight. Even though I try, I'm not good at sport. Nor am I very fit. So why on earth would I try and do this? Part of it is trying to understand how Sue felt and how she kept going through the pain that she experienced (because ouch, this is gonna hurt). It's about being a stubborn as her and fighting 'til the end. Running this race is not just a fun thing I decided to opt for - it means so much more than that (oh crap, I have that lump in my throat...). I am running symbolise her battle and victory. I am running to celebrate her life and I will do so with as many smiles as I can between trying to keep from falling over. Not only that, but I am running to make her laugh at how ridiculous (aaaand here are the tears...) wearing pink camouflage leggings, army crawling through a giant paddling pool of mud and through a maze of ropes. Honestly, she'd be in hysterics! I hope that she'll be proud of me as I try my hardest to get through it with my terrible stamina and shocking(ly bad) running distances - especially if there are hills. 

Firstly, thank you for reading this. I just wanted people to know my reason to run this race and why it is so important to me.
Secondly, I am running next Saturday (12th July). If anybody would like to come, please message me and I will tell you where it is. 
Thirdly, if you would like to sponsor me you can give the money to me in person or head to my JustGiving website (click here). Please don't feel like you need to sponsor me a lot - £1 or even a penny would be gratefully received. 
Lastly, as normal you can comment, share and do whatever. The last post I put up got something like 110 pageviews which was amazing! I couldn't have done it without you. 

Goodnight!
Sarah

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Welcome To My Ramblathon

First off, I send my apologies. 2014 has not been overly kind to me thus far and so my little blog has been rather...neglected. Welcome to my first blog of 2014 (Happy New Year! Oops... it's April already?) which was started really because I needed someone to ramble to. I suggest you grab a cuppa and a yummy biscuit before you read this :P

Right, let's get started then, shall we? I don't really know what's coming up so...yeah. You could say that's a good thing because my rambles tend to entertain you more :) 

Topic one of my ramblathon: Schools/Education
I think school is very important and believe that A-levels (or higher qualifications similar to these) are rather important in today's society. Why? Because now everybody is made to do them so you'd be the odd one out if you didn't bother. Want a job? Well that person has more qualifications so we'll go with them. Am I wrong? From what I have been told and heard from others, working your way up in life isn't quite as easy as it used to be. For example, to be a zoo keeper about 20 years ago you volunteered there, got a job and worked your way up doing any necessary training as you go. Nowadays to even get the lowest job you need a couple of qualifications in animal care. 
Here's my question - what if  higher education isn't for everyone? I know plenty of people who are planning to steer well clear of university - some may say this is a bad idea but now that so many people go to uni and come out with degrees, are these degrees really worth much? Oh my, jobs are confusing.
But then you have school itself. The time in your life where you develop into a young, responsible individual (or so your parents would hope) and prepare for your future life. For me, this seemed to be a truth in year 9. However, from GCSE's starting we were no longer developing individuals but mere grades on the Secondary School League Tables. We are told to work hard for our future otherwise we won't get anywhere. The same is constantly pushed onto us: "Work hard, get the grades, get to uni and you'll have a good life". 
But what happens if you don't know what you want to be? If you're anything like little ol' me, you're average at most things but don't have any particular job in mind. Then the pressure of school pushes you to think you have to choose your future here and now. You know what? I have hardly experienced life at all. My life has been spent in the same town and I don't know whether there's something out there I might love. A teenager choosing their future probably isn't the best plan anyway ;)
Topic #1's advice: You're young and have plenty of time to travel and work out what you want from life. Work your best (and NO, I don't mean work to the expectations of school or you parents, work to YOUR best) and that might give you more choices when you finally work out what's right for you. :)

Topic 2 of my ramblathon: Pleasing people
Now... this is something I want to talk about but before I do so I'd like to say one thing: I don't want anybody who knows me to start kicking up a fuss, okay? I know what you silly people are like :L
Over the past 9 months or so, pleasing people has been an issue for me. People have taken a dislike to my attitude, sexuality, music taste, motivation (or lack of), health or abilities in various things. My attitude, especially lately, has been that of "let's just quietly get on with things and please everyone to avoid drama". This has meant I have become juuuust a little withdrawn, miserable and fed up with people. Quietly. Because if people knew that they wouldn't be too "pleased" would they? However, what I have only just come to realise is that through the attempt to relieve the pressure of everybody else's expectations and criticisms of me, I have started putting double or triple that on myself in forcing myself to try and make them happy. 
Let's get one thing straight, one year ago I was most certainly one thing - assertive. As of late, due to trying to conform to what everyone wants me to be, I have become somewhat of a pushover. I hate admitting but I guess it's true looking at it from my side. I'm doing everything that is asked of me because I want to make everyone else happy and therefore keep the pressure off me. Well, looks like that hasn't worked...
So here's topic #2's advice: BE YOU. Nobody is better at that than you because thankfully we're all different. Don't feel like you have to make every single person happy because that just means you're not. So tomorrow, wake up and take the day as yours. Let what inspires you, inspire you and take that little bit of control back. Just don't do anything stupid...

Topic number 3 of my ramblathon: Bandwagoning
Nope. I don't mean "I hate bandwagoners" - this topic is about my annoyance of people being told that due to finding an interest in something a little later than some other people, they aren't "real" fans and are so "bandwagoners". I mean, come on! The reason I've chosen to ramble about this is because I was just on Tumblr and saw an argument about how somebody's new to a fandom and some nut has told them to go away as they're "not real fanz, just a bandwgner" (great spelling, eh?). What is the point in all honesty? A group of people all like the same thing whether it be a TV show, music artist/band, fashion trend - why should new people to that group be classed as not worthy? Completely blows my mind. What a silly world we live in.
Topic #3's advice: Don't be afraid to join something late or feel that you have to leave some fan base because some nut is telling you you're "just a bandwagoner". You're not. You're enjoying something for probably the exact same reasons as everyone else. Oh! And if you're the nut? Stop. :)

Topic number 4 of my ramblathon: Fashion
I HATE fashion as a whole. The idea that somebody's personality or "coolness" can be based on what material they wear is all so silly. I cannot be truthful in saying that I haven't judged somebody's personality on their clothes. Unfortunately. Whoop for being human! 
Personally, there is one reason I'd like to be male (eww, I can't believe I'm telling everyone this...) - the clothes. I feel that my style as a dashing male would be that casual shirt and tie look with one of those hats. Y'know? Like when someone wears a denim shirt tucked into their skinny jeans, with a black tie and a trilby hat. I think I could rock that look
So why not do it now, you may ask? Well, I'm a girl. So wearing a shirt with a tie and hat would make people judge (plus, whenever you wear a hat people just steal it). BAM. Just went completely against topic 2. Honestly though, the judgement that accompanies the clothes you wear makes me nothing but self-conscious. So it looks like until I build up the courage to wear that stuff, I am to continue wearing jeans and a tshirt. *sigh*
Topic #4's advice: Be brave. This is advice to myself too... Wear what you want to express who you are or just to be comfortable. Yeah, people may comment but if they don't like it, they don't have to wear it, do they? 

Topic number 5 of my ramblathon: Competition
Hehe, this is a good one. Makes me giggle. The concept of competition surrounds us in everyday life both at work and at home. I have found that people get competitive about the silliest little things... For example:
"Oh! I got 37 out of 40! What did you get?"
"39 out of 40"
"Oh..."
Yep. True experience, that. It was so funny how an excitable mood from the boffin of the class suddenly changed to upset due to somebody else getting 2 more marks. Surely that's not worth getting upset about? Like I said, this attitude is EVERYWHERE and it entertains me constantly. As you sing along with someone they criticise your singing because they want to be best. When you bake a lot, a friend or family member goes "I can bake better than that" and spends a whole day trying to bake something elaborate. 
Now, I don't think I'm one of those people who try to compete with others, going out of my way to try and beat some result they already have. I'm more one of those people that do things for enjoyment - you get better at things you enjoy a lot quicker anyway. I do find it fun when people try and compete with me though meaning some times I may step it up a little but then I'm still enjoying what I'm doing instead of getting all stressy about it. 
Topic #5's advice: If you want to entertain me, compete with me. I find it so utterly hilarious... If you feel stressy about trying to compete people just calm down a little. Find something you enjoy and then you excel at that - then people will want to compete with YOU. And lastly, if you are doing something you love BUT you're still trying to compete, take a step back. If you keep doing that you won't enjoy it anymore - I've seen it happen.




SO, my little freundlings! I hope you enjoyed my ramblings (and the cuppa that may have accompanied your reading). I promise to post more regularly - I do really do enjoy doing this. Share this is you want to, direct people to my funny lil' blog, and please do comment - I love knowing what you guys think.

Thank you! Hope it's sunny where you are!
Sarah