Independence Referendum Reflection

Words are what spark emotions in people. For instance, we hear war and naturally we feel fear and anxiety. We hear Independence and we are met with a mix of good and bad emotions, pride, freedom, anxiety, suppression. In general, words can ignite something in us. It happened to me on September 11, 2001, when two planes crashed into the twin towers. I was only seven, I cried, I felt anger, I felt for the people who had died and those who had lost their loved ones. I felt emotions, but I didn’t understand why. On the news, the aftermath was occupied with political jargon, war and hatred. Being seven I couldn’t fully take it in, but I wanted to. From that point on I was filled with a morbid curiosity, I had to settle my own confusion.

It was 9/11 which sparked my political interest, but it had always been there. Everyone has it, we all care about the rules and regulations, but we only show it when we don’t approve. And that is what is happening right now. That is why we are having a referendum.

When Alex Salmond announced that there would be a Scottish referendum on September 18th, I wasn’t amused. Oh great, I thought, another political campaign. But it was just anxiety speaking. Over time I felt drawn towards it. What was the right answer? Was there a right answer? I spent hours gruelling over both campaigner’s websites. Partly for a debate that I was involved in with my other classmates at university, and partly because I wanted to know. But I got angry over the childishness on both websites and very quickly spiralled into a huff and gave up. Why was it so difficult to have a straight answer? How could I debate about it if I didn’t fully understand it. I was immediately brought back to seven year old me obsessing over 9/11. It spurred me on. I realised I was only angry because I didn’t understand. So this time I paid more attention, I starting watching the live debates, I started reading articles from both sides on a variety of news websites. I started taking an interest.

The funny thing was, so was everyone else. In the run up to the independence referendum there has been yes and no campaigners singing or shouting about independence. There has been customers coming into my work with balloons, badges, stickers, all of which were making their way onto the floor, or the ceiling, or our clothes. Within what felt like a few months, everything changed, everywhere I turned people were expressing themselves. Whether that be for independence or against. It was refreshing. For the first time ever, people I worked with were having healthy debates about it. These people were all between 16 and 27. We were all young and we were all interested in politics in some way or another. When have we ever been able to say that? It made me realise how big this has become. People want to be apart of Scotland’s future, we want to have a voice. It is clear that maybe Scottish people feel they were never heard before. That is certainly something to think about it anyway.

If you are reading this and your are still undecided, my advice is to settle your confusion, do your research and tomorrow vote for what you believe is the right decision, whatever that may be.

Now I have one question for you reader. Have my words sparked an interest?


Life lessons

I’m doing it again. I’m lying in bed satisfied with finishing my book, but not with my thoughts. My mind is drifting into the unknown, the reckless line between negative and positive. This is the part where I explain how I cringed, whined and cried with my face firmly under my pillow for ever gracing this earth. The part where I tell you I’m once again over analysing events from the other week and also from years ago. Thinking about how I wish I could change how things in my past happened. If only I tried more with this and if only I did that. But I stopped myself before my mind took that small but unsteady step over the line. Something I am learning as I grow up is that life is never what it seems. It’s not easy and it’s not hard. It’s not bad or good. It’s what YOU make of it. Sometimes everything could be going fantastic and then suddenly it all changes. A chain reaction unfolding before your eyes. Believe me or not but you are either going to understand why it has happened or you won’t. And that understanding may be sudden or a realisation later in life. I’m not sure why I have so much faith in, let’s call it the ‘order of things’ but I know from experience, there is a reason for everything. We meet certain people to get to next place, like a transport system of your life and people are the transport. We have friends, lovers, even family who come and go. People teach you a lesson, good or bad and you/they move on. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I wasn’t for my first love, and now we’ve both moved on but we are still connected in a way. I wouldn’t be the same person if I hadn’t gone through the heartbreak and the hurt, if I chose to stay. He taught me many lessons good and bad and i’m a better person because of it.

And i’m waiting for someone to comment and scream ‘bullshit’ at me. But, in my opinion it’s up to the individual to either take a positive note from their past events, or a negative one. We have all gone through terrible times, and we have all gone through wonderful times. We learn through experience and we create our own opinions, our own morals and judgements on the past and how we are going to structure our future. And although we don’t believe it sometimes, we have full control of ourselves.

Tonight I am appreciating life, forgetting about the past I cannot change and living in the now.

And I am also going to sleep 🙂
And I also like you, because you are reading this and that makes me happy…cats.

Change Part II

Before you read this I would like to add that this is a self-reflecting blog post.

I have always found it fascinating that a person, a book, or a film can deliver such a powerful message that you are able to look at something with a completely new perspective. That’s how I felt during my History class in 5th year. Let me explain myself a little, my teacher Mrs Somerville had just finished teaching us about segregation in America, about the Jim Crow laws, lynching and eventually about a man named Martin Luther King. Now skip to a few months later, while I was studying for my extended essay, I have this vivid memory of me sitting at the computer on my mum’s weird stool (that wasn’t actually a stool but some sort of chair that was designed for back support but ironically gave me back ache.) So I’m sitting there with really bad back ache with my cat Oscar sitting on my lap, clawing at my knees. I had Leona Lewis’s album Echo playing and I had headphones in. I remember I was looking through pictures of lynchings, the people had been burned, mutilated or hung. It’s pictures like that you can’t unsee, you remember them for the rest of your life. I felt horrified, completed dumbfounded at how people could act so evil. I didn’t understand why someone wouldn’t accept another all because the colour of their skin. But the most important thing I remember from this memory was watching Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Now, it wasn’t my first time watching it, but it was the first time I really took it all in. Everything he was trying to articulate made complete sense.  He fought for and wanted change. Honestly I had never really considered myself as anything until then. I had always been ambitious yes, but never with a set goal. I was more like a baby bird learning to fly. I had no idea where I wanted to be or who I wanted to be. I went to bed thinking of the speech and it was that moment that I decided to make some changes.  Martin Luther King’s words gave me hope, just like millions before me. He is to this day remembered and I realised that was what I wanted. I wanted to be heard. I began to focus my efforts into building the life I wanted for myself. I had never really believed in myself until then, but my passion for history and for writing changed that.

My goal for a brighter future had begun just four short years earlier and fast forward to right now, I’m exactly where I planned to be. I may have left people behind, or new people have become part of my life. But in the end I set out a goal, and I achieved it. There is nothing more satisfying than that.Image