Monday, 14 July 2014

A little ramble about death

Many of us claim that we "live each day as though it's our last", but can any of us honestly say that we are or know someone who lives their life with this mantra? If the answer is yes, are we being truthful? If we were, would so many of us waste away hours in front of television screens or holding grudges against those that we care about?

The knowledge of death truly changes everything: it puts our lives into perspective and any achievements or mistakes that have been made flash before our eyes, key moments are remembered with absolute clarity and any unnecessary ill feelings are long forgotten. It shows us that our physical bodies are not indestructible and that we are mortal, a thought that we tend to ignore, but if we didn't, would we approach certain life situations with more or less caution? Thus, does the knowledge of death mean we then develop a "fuck-it-I'm-going-to-die-anyway" attitude or do we believe that if we are more cautious that it will postpone death? But does it really matter when we die? Those with terminal illnesses undergo medical procedures in the hope of postponing death, sometimes for as little time as a few weeks, to ensure that they are ready to die. But are we ever ready to die? People claim to be ready once they have said their "goodbyes", but is this just a romanticised idea that we have been raised with to act as a guideline for what to do if any of us happen to know our time of death?

Why does the thought and finality of death cause so much fear? Is it because we don't want to know what happens afterwards, if anything at all? The unknown is welcomed in scenarios as everyday as getting married, no one knows what will happen if in ten years you'll still be as blissfully happy as you are on your wedding night or if you'll be emotionally scarred from a difficult divorce with only the custody of your German Shepard to show for it. The knowledge of death surrounds us, yet we continue to trick ourselves into thinking we're immune from it unless we're in a situation such as being a terminally ill patient with only a mere few weeks to live. We forget that we are mortal beings and death is inevitable - why should we fear something that cannot be escaped?

Why are the Saw films relevant? The films' main protagonist, Jigsaw, only truly appreciates his life once he is diagnosed with terminal cancer and survives a suicide attempt. Jigsaw chooses a select few to undergo his "tests" and in doing so is providing them with a chance to change, to realise the importance of their own life - redemption. Aside from the unnecessary blood and gore, the underlying theme running throughout the films is the missing piece in Jigsaw's selected few - hence his nickname - the survival instinct. The will to live is the most important element of all. Why do we not realise our capabilities until a life is hanging in the balance? Why is it only when our human bodies are pushed to the extreme that we see how much we want to live? The Saw franchise highlights how we must realise that we can only help ourselves, we all possess the tools to truly appreciate life, we just choose not to use them.

If it was a question of who will live and should live, does a healthy young drug-addict deserve to live more than a cancer patient who fights for their life every single day? All that matters is how you play the cards that you're dealt with, people steal and don't get caught, people lie and cheat and they get elected. You cannot change the fate of others, we are only in control of our own salvation. I guess the Saw films had more of an effect on me than I thought... Cherish your life, and mean it.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

I'll see you soon then

I had my date yesterday and haven't stopped smiling since. We went on a "dog walk" a few days ago to ease the initial awkwardness and ended up with no dog and talking non-stop for two and a half hours. He then came into my work with his friend for some lunch two days after. So when he picked me up at exactly 10am yesterday morning I couldn't get in the passenger seat fast enough. he took me to Go Ape and it was such a good first date idea. We were left to our own devices which gave us a chance to talk and really get to know each other. There's a lot to be learnt about people when you're throwing yourself between trees. We got to know each others' flaws and strengths and any similarities and differences we might have. He was surprised that by how well I handled it all seen as he was expecting (or hoping!) to have a damsel in distress on his hands, but I hope that he was more impressed by the fact that I was okay with it. I realised up in the trees that whenever he offered help, I turned it down unless I desperately needed it. I've become too independent and dealing with things all on my own, it took me a while to let my guard down and accept his help. After we completed the last zip wire it became apparent that the date had enabled us to complete something together, and have a shared experience.

After we'd completed Go Ape we went to this gorgeous country pub that he had booked us in at. It was called The Fishpool Inn and it was breathtakingly beautiful. He had put so much thought into the entire day that it overwhelmed me slightly. It was over our meal that I really began to let my guard down, it happened naturally and normally I wouldn't have let it happen but I'm glad that it did. The connection that we have is something that I've been missing for a long time, he stimulates me mentally and it's what I need. In the car home, it was a beautiful sunny day so we had the windows down and the music on, we were driving through beautiful woodland and I felt content. He dropped me off at work and I didn't want to say goodbye, I didn't know when I would see him again and all that I knew was that I wanted it to be soon. He text me half an hour later inviting me to stay with him in London in two weeks time for the weekend, I felt like a giddy schoolgirl once I'd read the text. I can't wait to see him again.

What I've realised about popular romances is that they are all based on the people being able to overcome anything in order to be with the other person. I'm going to brainstorm on that tomorrow.

Thursday, 29 May 2014


I studied Philosophy and Ethics at A Level and learnt about reincarnation, whether I believe in it or not I'm still not sure. I like the idea of every cycle having a new beginning though. Experience certain situations and if they don't work out, try and try again until they do.

I've met someone since my last post. We've been talking for around two weeks and we met up yesterday. I think I really like him, something that I haven't felt for a long time. I've endured certain people for purely selfish reasons, but liking someone is very different. I'm genuinely interested in everything that he has to say, he has a very pure heart and he makes me feel safe and comfortable in his company. I think he feels the same way but you can never be sure, and it's the unknown that makes it so very scary for me. I haven't even thought about lowering my barriers for anyone since James, I know I'm being silly and I will have to at some point but deciding who is worth it is a different story. I'm excited for where this could go, I have a very vivid, child-like imagination that is running away with all sorts of possibilities.

With me, one of the most attractive qualities in a person is intelligence. I need someone to stimulate me mentally and to challenge, to disagree and to not let me get away with all sorts. He provides that, and so much more. A natural connection isn't something you just stumble across, especially when you have such high expectations as I do. He just bulldozed into my life one day and I haven't been able to think of anything else since. It didn't work out with James, but that doesn't mean that I have to keep my barriers up and never try again. I don't know what will happen and I don't want to, I'd rather just sit back in a squishy armchair and watch the future unfold, all the while hoping for the best.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

I found this Latin phrase in one of the books that I was reading recently and it stuck with me. It describes the past year of my life perfectly. Many will think it seems unrealistic that the phrase could ever mean anything to me because I'm "only nineteen", but this is untrue. I have known shadows, I have known emotional pain which many are lucky to only encounter later on in life.

I've always been a person to trust their gut instinct and stick to my guns but my ex-boyfriend taught me how to let my guard down and do things even if they didn't necessarily feel right. This was something that ultimately did me a lot of good, however destructive it became towards the end. I became an extremely trusting and loyal person who, for as long as I can remember, has been stubbornly independent, but he taught me that it was okay to depend on someone every once in a while. I love my family unconditionally of course, but I never thought that I would be able to love someone as irrevocably as I loved him. Don't get me wrong, we were far from perfect for each other. We hardly agreed on anything, like opposing ends of a magnet, and were both too proud to ever admit if we were in the wrong (I wasn't). To say he broke my heart is an understatement, let alone cringeworthy.

The last six months that we were together he put me through emotional hell. The constant lies, the reassurance, the not knowing... they were what broke me. If you don't know me personally then know that I was someone who was incredibly content with who I was, I was strong and understood my abilities and my faults and used them to my advantage. Those six months altered all of those characteristics that I prided myself on. I became blind and wholly dependent on another. I allowed myself to listen to his lies, to forgive him when he cried, to believe him when he said that he loved me, that he thought that I was beautiful, that this relationship was what he wanted. When he told me that he wanted to take a break, I let him, swearing down that I would do anything I could not to lose him, blaming myself for any doubt he had. We haven't spoken a single word to each other since, as I discovered more and more cheating it became apparent that I was never going to know everything and that I would never understand his actions regardless, understanding that accepting an apology that I was never going to get was the hardest part. It's been over a year now and the shadows are still there, though my light remains in the form of my family and the girls, and surprisingly, our new puppy (I think I transferred some of the hurt that I was feeling into loving her, which could never be a bad thing). I'm hoping that when I start uni in September more of the shadows will pass, I know it just takes time.