22 January 2017

L'importance d'apprendre

The importance of learning... Being a teenager sometimes leaves you slightly overwhelmed as one can learn so much in a day, in a minute, in a second. At this age, there is so much that I haven't seen or experienced. Sometimes months can go by without anything new entering my life but then one day I can be bombarded with so much information that I just have to pause because of my miniature existential crisis, such as the realisation when I was twelve that "blush" is a contraction of blood rush and I had to spend the afternoon analysing about every word in case it would result in another existential crisis two years later. I'm still finding words which do that to me.

I distinctly remember turning twelve and suddenly I came to the realisation that I had the opportunity/obligation to create a whole new identity or persona. I spent hours recreating outfits using clothes from my wardrobe and spending hours watching videos on how to find who you are. It's so confusing when you are suddenly launched into a sea of new, also very confused, people and you just don't know who you're supposed to be! What no one tells you of course is that that's okay and that learning who you are is a long, exhaustive process because, after all your hard work, you realise that the person you are is the person you have always been and you don't need a new set of clothes to prove that. I enjoyed learning that.

School has shown me how much I love learning in a more academic sense. I love the taste of new words, both english and french, I love the focused mindset when attempting to solve an equation where suddenly your mind goes clear except for the numbers, I love learning new chords and stringing notes together to create the not-so-perfect melody, I love contributing my opinions to class discussions and that feeling when your hand is in the air because "yes! I know the answer!!!". I love collecting little pieces of knowledge and trying to form comprehensible paragraphs with them and reading the final result with a feeling of pride in my chest.

I think school inspires to us to prepare for our future. Something that we don't do for each other. School almost gives you the push to want more for yourself, to want to do something amazing with your life and more than that it gives you the qualifications you need to do that, which is a wonderful gift in itself. My dreams are more advanced than perhaps I am capable of but I will deal with that when I come to it, but for now I wish to work as hard as I can and I will continue to do everything in my power to learn more about myself, my rights and my opportunities.

There is definitely a culture within teenage society against learning and against the love of learning. Beyond that, I have noticed a lack of desire to do anything and a significant amount of laziness circulating among us. These teenagers give the entire teenage society a bad name. These teenagers are the ones who are complained about by 60 year old women because they're afraid. These teenagers are the ones which hold the rest of us back. I understand. I do. I understand how easy it is to not want to learn, technically I am procrastinating right now by doing something almost equally academic in order to satisfy the guilt I feel in my stomach at not revising. So I understand. But I wish it were not this way, because I think we, as a teenage society, are worth more than disapproving glances.

Reading "I am Malala" almost a year ago now really inspired me.  It really shocked me to learn about the girls who were not as privileged as we are to go to school. In this country, we have so many opportunities just given to us and we take them for granted. In fact, many of us which we did not have these advantages which would be horrifying I'm sure to the girls in Africa or under the Taliban who just don't. It feels so selfish to complain about my workload when I am so lucky to have it. I am so lucky to be able to go to school for free and earn qualifications which will act as a safety net for me throughout my life.

What I'm trying to say really is that I know it can seem really hard when you're in school. Perhaps I can say that because I'm clever and I do the grades that I want so maybe it's not so hard for me. But I promise you that you can do this. Whatever exams you are facing you really can do this. It is amazing that you have been given this opportunity. Learning is a gift. It really is. It allows us to expand our minds in ways we didn't think possible even 50 years ago. Don't dismiss it out of indolence. I believe in you.

// Jeani

17 January 2017

I don't hate you anymore // poem

I do not hate you anymore
I am no longer plagued by your existence
But I still hate the feeling of pain
Which came with your secret betrayal
I let the ink from my pen tell the story
I allow it to leap off the page
Because art let's the way you made me feel
Come alive again

I can still hear your mechanical laughter
I can feel myself screaming at you to just stop
Maybe the things you did weren't of importance
But for me, they really meant a lot.
You scarred my every movement
To the point where I was stopped mid walk
Because I sensed your presence behind me
My heart skipped beats and my words came up short

Sometimes he reminds me of you.
Just a flicker of mocking in his eyes.
It's momentary and glimpse
But its enough to make me realise
I will never escape the way you made me feel 
Because you're in every person I know
We all have a desire to taunt and belittle
No matter how hard or easy that flows

I do not hate you anymore.
Perhaps you seek my forgiveness
I'm sorry, I cannot give you that
These events are unable to be compressed
But I ask those of you who feel that inside
Who can separate themselves from those they are hurting
To please just stop.

Because we don't hate you anymore,
but enough is enough.

// Jeani

12 January 2017

Who am I?

Who am I?
Am I represented by the jacket on my shoulders or the pink tights I once wore when I was eleven?
Am I my deepest desires and my cruelest thoughts or the version of myself that I display involuntarily?
Am I the random spurts of motivation that seem to hit me in the middle of an English lesson? Or the frequent monotonous state I tend to delve into in maths?
Am I my short-tempered irritation at those who care? Or the contented but confused thoughts that are in reality swirling around my head but just don't know how to make an appearance?
Am I the cheery smile that I wear at eight o'clock because the start of everyday is exciting and refreshing? Am I the gluttonous animal which appears when I get home?
Am I the delicate body which bounces around pathways? Or the uncoordinated bambi on ice? I'm going with bambi on that one.
Am I the jealousy in my chest at almost non-existent arms brushing? Or the gracious forgiveness that I feel compelled I must give?
Am I the fire-driven phoenix that escapes when I truly play the game? Or the timid shadow that I revert to in uncomfort and uncertainty?
Am I the pile of mind-maps and inspiration that hand upon my desk? Or the draw upstairs which is filled with discarded unfolded jumpers?
Am I my face stripped down to its natural form as I study hard on Sundays? Of the dazzling work of art I paint on when I go out on Friday night?
I am the confident way I hold myself as I walk past those who spit at me. I am the determination and the never-ending perseverance. I am my face the moment I wake up - do I choose to make the most of today?
I am fluctuating but the voice in my head is constant. I make the decision. Who am I?
I am not one of these. I am all of these, I am a conflicting mixture of personalities, emotions and personas. Who am I?
I am me.

// Jeani

10 January 2017

What the new year means for me

2017. That sounds so foreign to me. It feels like yesterday that I was in 2007 listening to Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne and playing in parks on swings and slides. It terrifies me to think I'm going to be turning 16 this year: the age of almost of every teenage novel heroine I have ever read!

Over the past few months, I have been beginning to prepare myself for my upcoming GCSE exams in May this year. This preparation has shown me that I am organised and that I have a love of stationery and of learning. I intend on doing a revision YouTube video or blog post soon with all my advice soon. In the face of this terrifying thing, I have become a new better version of myself.

I hope that this year that this version of myself continues to reign as I really enjoy feeling so motivated, so happy, so inspired. I have become even more informed on feminist issues (check out my feminism pinterest board here ) as well as becoming healthier and fitter. I have learned to find enjoyment in things that I used to hate and feel terrified of for example: sport - I have become a lot more involved in my PE lessons and realised that I actually enjoy some sports and can be good at them. I have enjoyed science this year, perhaps as a result of my looming exams, and revision; just learning and creating.

So, what are my goals and plans for this year?

1) Make my blog posts better quality than they are
A lot of the time my posts are Verbal Spill which is okay occasionally but I would like to write better structured, more prepared blog posts to help improve my writing
2) Write more of my novel "The Intelligent"
I want to improve on my creative writing skills. I have started many but never finished a novel and I really want this year to be the year that I, at least, get closest to finishing a draft.
3) Focus on getting the best grades I possibly can in my GCSEs
These exams are the start of several years of education that are ahead of me, I want to start on a really high note and A*s in every subject but maths and sciences where I want to get As. I believe that with work and dedication I can achieve this, that will be my main goal this year,
4) Keep reading
At the moment I'm going through a really good reading phase of about one book a week which I want to keep up throughout the year so that my reading level goes up and so that I'm becoming smarter and more knowledgeable, especially as I am going to be starting my A levels this year.
5) Become more aware of my actions and my personality
I would like to be in better control of my attitude towards others and adapt to a more open mind regarding other's.

My goals for you this year:
1) Learn to love your self
Whether this be your body, your personality or your relationships, whatever you struggle with, learn to accept who you are. Learn to accept yourself the way you are, focus on having positive actions and your behaviour and you will find yourself adapting to a better, more comfortable mindset in regard to yourself.
2) Learn something new
Start going to night school, take a course online, learn yoga, take up something that interests and excites you so that you are becoming a better version of yourself.
3) Focus on developing a more open mind
When you start regarding other's opinions as valid you will find that you become smarter and a better person because instead of talking you are listening!

I hope you all have a wonderful 2017