Dot Dot Dot

Its 3:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon. I am currently sitting in my Primarni dressing gown watching reruns of gossip girl on Netflix. There are three empty mugs of tea on the coffee table in front of me, evidence of my not-so-productive day. Prospects of me not leaving the house are strong. Put this on repeat and you have the vision of my week, aside from the occasional outings to Sainsbury’s to top up my milk and chocolate supplies. I have nothing to do, and nowhere to go.

The dissertation is done. It’s funny how the devilish reputation of writing a dissertation is so underwhelming, yet so accurate. I found the process of writing my dissertation a lot less stressful than my misconceptions of the task led me to believe. I was imagining sleepless nights fuelled by sugar and caffeine, or even worse, alcohol, to finish the ma-husive challenge of writing 10,000 academic words. In reality, it was more like a nagging ache that kind of just hung around, forcing you to think about it all the time. I spent hours in the library researching, note taking and writing, yet when I came home in the evenings to unwind, the ache would guilt me into thinking I was wasting time. As the weirdly organised person I am, I managed to space my work out enough that I was only editing and referencing in my last three weeks. There was no huge rush, or breakdown, or crisis, just a dull ache that kept me on my toes for the past 3 months. Yet, in reality, the stress and pressure of not fucking-it-up makes it the huge and scary task that it is. A weird combination, really.

Then, hand-in day came, and my flatmates and I were two bottles of prosecco down when we gleefully took our proud pictures and handed it in (at 11am might I add). A haze of fizz, Weatherspoon’s and sunshine followed, the feeling of no responsibility elating us to a dizzy drunkenness. The next day arrived, and suddenly it dawned on us all… What’s next? What do we do with our lives now that we don’t have to be stock piling library books in our bedrooms? What do we do now that we can ramble on about a ridiculously specific theatre issues for days on end, yet don’t have to anymore? What do we do now that we have nothing to do?

Well… flash foward a week later, and here I am. There are biscuit crumbs on my jumper, and the kettle is on for tea number 4. The momentary lack of responsibility has been a joy but now I must move on. And so, the job seeking begins, applying for anything and everything that doesn’t sound too laborious (the glamorous jobs of a graduate, hey?). I have to admit though, I am so excited to begin this new part of my life. I cannot wait to truly find out where I want to be, find out what jobs I like and don’t like, and found out how I can fit in to a little corner of the jigsaw of London. I am ready to leave behind jobs for money, and start doing jobs for me, and for my career.

Basically, I am just fucking excited to get out there and do stuff, however keen and naive that may seem right now. I mean, come back to me in two months time when I still haven’t found a job, and I may have changed my tune, but for now, I am riding my high of unknowing possibilities!…Just maybe once the next episode of Gossip Girl finishes.

Cafe Squatting

So I’m sitting in the corner of a hipster little café in Hampstead. I have a flat white, complete with swan art, to my left, and a finished plate of smashed avocado to my right. I am wearing a big swishing scarf, and bright red lipstick, in the hope that I may scream some sort of sophistication in this place, that is definitely far too cool for me. On the overhead speakers, some husky man is murmuring meaningful lyrics, accompanied by a guitar and the chatter of the people dining in this small space. Of course, everything is wooden, mismatched in the way that looks put together, if you know what I mean. Even the staff are all co-ordinating in their dark shirts, pierced noses and waxed moustaches.

I love going to places like this, it’s a prime spot for people watching, and so let my totally inaccurate observations begin…

Sitting opposite me, are the ladies that lunch. Two middle-aged women who definitely do Pilates on the weekends. They are munching down on their gluten-free salad option, because they are trying to watch what they eat. They sip on their extra hot cappuccinos, but of course, no sprinkles, thankyou very much. Their double denim attire, completed with a beret and boots oozes luxury. As their second round of coffee arrive, they completely ignore the young server, as they are too busy gossiping to acknowledge anyone around them. A dismissive wave of the hand as the guy offer’s two cappuccinos, but oh no, they have sprinkles! A slightly curt suggestion that he should’ve known what they ordered before he served them is said, and they continue their loud catch-up as two new ones are made.

Next, are the cool guys. Two youngish boys dressed in an effortless sweater and denim combo. Pulled up socks cover the area of their shins that their too-short jeans don’t, and the white trainers tie the look together. One guy has his hair tied up in low buns behind his head, accentuating the three gold hoops in his ear that he and his mates pierced themselves. The other has a beige cap on to cover his mop of curly hair, and a strong beard to match. They are only drinking water, because they don’t actually like the taste of coffee, but that’s okay because coffee is probably to mainstream these days anyway. They are looking at a laptop, and discussing ideas together, maybe for the next start-up business venture in east London.

On the opposite side of the table, is the first-time mum. Hair tied-up in a fuss-free ponytail and a knit thrown on, that definitely has a stain from this morning’s breakfast. She clutches her latte for moral support while her baby cries in its pram, for no particular reason. As she pulls her little one out, and balances him on her knee, you can see her tired eyes wishing for some sort of magical cure for crying toddlers. She shares her portion of plain toast, out of love but also in the hope of a moment of silence. As she folds him in a hug, you can see the bond of love between them, despite the sleepless nights.

Finally, the coffee guy. He has short brown hair, and is dressed in vintage chic that only waiters in cool coffee shops do. He is shy, not wanting to interrupt his customers as he carries over coffee after coffee. He has been working all day, but still wears a smile on his face as he welcomes new people into the café, a smile that his masking how bored and tired he really is.

As I sit in the corner of the coffee shop, I notice each group of people, sipping their coffee and enjoying their afternoon chat. They flow in and out, but I am that one weirdo who has been here all afternoon. After all of the judgements I make on other people, which are definitely in jest, the staff are probably making the same on me:

There is a girl sitting in the back corner of the shop, who has only had one coffee all afternoon, but keeps asking for water, probably because she is too stingy to buy anything else, but wants to sap our free wifi. She has been furiously typing away on her laptop, probably writing some essay about the arts, judging by the colour of her hair, and her bright clothing, not to mention the nose ring.

If only they knew, that if café squatting was a sport, I would be the champion….

Why do We Do It?

Before you read any further, I would like to put a disclaimer out there that this is not a post to bash anyone, or a statement of feminism, or any other sort of extreme view on worldly issues. It’s not. It’s just something I have been thinking over the past few days, and thought I would just put my thoughts on a page, nothing more, nothing less.

Over the past few weeks, it has been a common occurrence to hear about girls, women, my friends and their relationship problems. We all have them, and it’s totally fine! But, when women are staying with people who treat them like absolute shit, or make them unhappy, or even when they are single, and make it their mission to find boys (or girls for that matter), it makes me feel all shrivelled up inside. I don’t really know how else to put it, but it’s that feeling where your stomach just tenses up in frustration, and anger, and sadness all at the same time.

This is not to say that I am being biased to my friends, because I feel this to be the case for anyone, boy or girl, single or not. It is horrible to watch people become a lesser version of themselves because of how their partner and/or friend is treating them. You deserve so much better than to surround yourself with people who fill your head with negative thoughts. Don’t be with a person who doesn’t support you, doesn’t make you feel like who you want to be, and more importantly, doesn’t give you those warm and fuzzy’s inside!

I know this is nothing ground breaking. My thoughts aren’t original, and probably, maybe, naive even. It is probably so much easier said than done, but I just wish that people could see how fucking great they are, and didn’t settle for situations they don’t deserve.

Take Ella, for example. She is a top girl (totally made up, but just follow along)… She is funny, smart, beautiful in her own quirky way and most importantly, a strong woman. She finds a boy. Let’s call him Jake. At first it’s cute, and flirty, and they tag each other in memes on facebook all the time. Things are looking peachy… Then a month or so passes by, and they become comfortable. Jake starts to let slip comments about her physical appearance, he says she looks fat in that dress, that she shouldn’t wear those jeans, that she should go to the gym. So, Ella goes to the gym, and starts to change herself for someone else. Jake never comments on her efforts, but instead, says he can’t notice anything. He starts to tell her that she couldn’t find any better than him… He starts to fuck with her head to the point that Ella isn’t that funny, smart, beautiful girl anymore, but a tired, shy version of herself. I’m sure you get the picture, and you all want to metaphorically punch Jake in the mouth. You all want to grab Ella by the shoulders and tell her to get the hell out of there!

I want every person out there who reads this… or doesn’t… to know how brilliant you are! Don’t let the Jakes of the world pull you down and treat you like shit. You are the shit! You are so much better than what the Jakes deserve, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. That goes for friends as well, only let the Ella’s of the world into your life. No one has time for douchey Jake’s bullshit…

Live your days with your friends, and embracing each moment, not doing things for other people! If you’re out at a club with your squad, you dance with your squad and be with your squad. Don’t go hunting down the nearest pack of boys in the hope of finding the one. No one wants to tell their kids that ‘mummy and daddy met in a club, and got so drunk that they couldn’t remember each other’s names in the morning.’

Enjoy you, enjoy your mates, and let life do it’s thing, because you are fucking great!

To quote the biblical Beyoncé, ‘If you’re independent, I congratulate you’.

Successful Friends

Why do people get jealous of others successes? Maybe it is seeing someone who was in a similar position to yourself, propelling themselves forward successfully into adulthood, or even seeing someone who you don’t know in a place that you want to be. I am the first person to put their hand up and admit that from time to time I get a pang of resentfulness to strangers in positions that I want to be in. But, I want to take a moment not to talk about strangers, and to talk about my friends…. And how bloody brilliant they are!

This isn’t a gushy post, or even one that has been sparked by a particular event, but sometimes I like to sit back and just admire how amazing my friends are. I have friends who have created theatre productions and taken them around the UK. I have friends who have set up platforms to talk about mental health issues. I have friends who have their next year mapped out already, knowing exactly what they want to do. I have friends who produce and write their own work. I have friends that are absolutely slaying life, and I am so proud. I think it is so hard for young people, especially students, to feel like they have the leverage to create work and ideas that they can take out into the world, and yet I surround myself with people who are doing just that. I am constantly astounded at the hard work and time my peers put into their passions, and of course, it pays off.

I often get comments from people saying that they would never have been able to move across the world to study, away from their friends and family. So maybe, in a way, people look at me with this same admiration. I left on one big long holiday, and never went back home, what a dream! However, I think that what I have done is nothing compared to the feats of those that I live, work and play with everyday. So many of my friends have faced set backs, job losses, and criticisms, yet they are all so happy and motivated to push back stronger, and I think that is pretty awesome. I can say that it is my friends that are going to be the next big things to hit the world, and you don’t know what’s coming!

So shout out to all of you guys, who constantly inspire me to strive for what I want, and to work hard for my passions. Sometimes it is worth the sleepless nights, the endless coffee breaks and chocolate to keep you going, or even the heartbreak of rejection. Make others strive to be where you are, and strive to be where others above you look to go.