Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Tinder is the Night

I think I was absent on the day everyone else learnt how to talk to the opposite sex. 

Maybe I'm stuck in the days of courting while everyone has moved on to Tinder.

Love is so lifeless now.

Through a screen.

I can't succumb to it.

But if I did, would I feel less lonely?

Less patronised?

Less embarrassed?

Less anxious?

I'm sick.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Dear Taylor Swift #2

Dear Taylor Swift,

I can't help but worry about living with my University friends next year. Surely living with your friends that you love should make you ecstatic and excited and all the happy feelings in the world, but I'm not feeling it. I'm worried about the close-proximity of the house. I'm worried we're going to hate each other by the end. I'm worried about hearing bitchy comments. I'm worried that our friendship may fall apart all because we spend too much time together.

I started feeling this at the end of last term. We all study English which only leads to competitiveness with grades, which I just can't deal with. I need to live in a place where I don't feel judged. My heart is telling me that they don't judge me, and I believe it, until my head gets in the way and reminds me of my paranoia that is constantly there. We're just so alike and I think that's great, but don't we all get most annoyed with ourselves? And once you've realised your friends are just like you, do you start taking your annoyances out on them? I can't decide whether the ache in my stomach is caused by them, or by me being worried over our friendship.

I hadn't seen them for a while and then we went to a festival together. Tents, rain and mud are not the best arrangements for friends on heat. I constantly felt like I was annoying them and felt my presence was not worthy. I even over-heard bitching about me in the tent. Now, I know everyone is bitched about, I just don't want to hear it - and I'm sure everyone is the same. But I guess I should 'shake it off' and I DO! I'm a strong person in the fact that I know who I am, I know what I believe and my morals and ways to deal with life, but when you hear people you're very close to discuss them, it can be off-putting. It just reminded me of your lyric in 'Mean', 'pointing out my flaws again, as if I don't already see them.' People always want to think that they know you more than you know yourself but really what they say behind our backs has been going through our heads for months before. (That made sense in my head, it may not have here...)

I am currently on summer break, which is perfect to have some time to myself. Except I now have a shitty job that is treating me like crap, I have no time to see my home friends and I've lost the love for reading and writing. All this, plus the Uni friends situation, is stressing me out and just writing this here makes me realise how stupid I'm being. But I'm always thinking, and thinking leads to worrying which leads to asking your favourite singer for advice.

Maybe you could just take me away from my life for a few weeks in your private jet and pay me to hang out with you for the rest of the summer.

Love from,
Mabel x

Monday, 13 April 2015

Here she goes again...

Tonight has really been one of those 'feel everything' nights. Feeling everything inside, but nothing happening on the outside. I decided to watch Love, Rosie. Not for any particular reason, except for the fact that I love a hopelessly romantic, cheesy film from time to time - and what better time than on a Sunday? So, while I sit here, feeling all the butterflies in my tummy, it doesn't take long until reality kicks in again. That's why I love those films. No, they're not exactly feminist. They would never pass the Bechdal test. But they do allow you to go into a world of fantasy that seems almost reachable. I guess that would be why they're so incredibly bad for you. Especially someone like me.

I never shy away from my romantic life on this blog. Maybe that's because nothing ever happens. But I think even announcing that is brave. It never feels 'normal' for a nineteen year old to be single and have no prospects of anything other than that, and yet here I am. That's why I think it's brave, because I'm stupidly paranoid about it. Now, I know it's wrong to even put that word 'normal' into a sentence when discussing teenage life (emphasis on the inverted commas), because everyone's different. But going from my experience, I can feel slightly pitied and even patronised when discussing romantic endeavours. I mean, come on, even calling sex and relationships 'romantic endeavours' screams virgin. I like to believe this patronising is all in my head and no one really cares, but that's hard to convince yourself when all anyone wants to know and talk about is sex. 

I've convinced myself a lot of the time that I'm fine. I've never been in a relationship, meaning I don't know any different. But right now, I really want that to change. I really want people to be jealous of me. I really want someone to care for me - again, not very feminist. Actually, scrap that 'care for me', no, I want someone to care about me. I know my friends do, and I know they are great, but they have others they also care about. Who they care more about. I want to be somebody special to someone else. I want to know that when I get lonely, I always have someone to talk to. This paragraph has become incredibly selfish, but I think sometimes you need those selfish moments to reveal what you truly want. I promise, this will be the last selfish post for a while (I can't promise forever, it is my blog). 

This is why I should stop watching anything vaguely romantic. Crazy ideas get in my mind and I start comparing myself to fictional characters. Their life is scripted. Sometimes you can forget that about a film.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The best people in life are free

I realise it has been quite a while, and for that, I am sorry. Or perhaps, you have not missed me at all? Is it not presumptuous of me to assume that many of you will be refreshing my blog for just one more post/sentence/word from me, a tear dropping on your keyboard each time nothing comes around? What a strange and sad image. Well, if you were like that (which I doubt), then wipe those tears off your keyboard! For here is Mabel, back in Birmingham after another term at University. You may be pleased to hear that it's all going well. I love the friends I have made and Bristol is the most amazing city, you should all come. But now I'm back in Bham, everything seems far more complicated. 

I have realised that being away from home can make you over-emphasise how great it was. While talking to my new friends in Bristol I would go on and on about an individual person ('oh, so and so does the funniest thing') and then you come back and all the shit rushes back. Of course I love it here as well. I love my family and my friends, but they're not normal. Well, who is? But being away, and comparing it with other people's family's that you don't know can make you think they are amazing. What I seemed to mainly forget was how dramatic my group of friends are. It's as if they thrive off drama, meaning they make it worse than it actually is. Why can't people just be easy on themselves and on others? Why does everything always have to be such a big deal? Ever since college I have lived my life assuming that everything will be crap, therefore, when it comes to it, it is crap but you're fine because you expected it, or it is better than you thought. For me, that makes life easier. If you have read my other blog posts you would probably know that is my mantra to living. Once you realise that life is shit, everything gets a tiny bit easier. 

I just wish others felt the same. When I have told people this the usual reply is that it's sad. Of course it is! But that's what life is! Life is filled with sad moments, however, once we realise this, the happy moments come as a shock and become more important to us. This year I began losing this though. I began getting my hopes up about situations and making little stories in my head before they happened. Of course, these narratives never happened (because that's not how life works, it's unfair) and I started to get very low. I had a constant numbing pain in my stomach and my head began comparing myself to others around me, making me dislike them while they did nothing wrong. I should have written a blog post instead of keeping it inside because it grew and grew until I broke down in the middle of a cafe with a friend. Luckily, the embarrassment of my tears made me realise how stupid it was to feel the way I did. Crying does not show weakness. Crying is strength. Crying makes you vulnerable in a way that screams, 'yes, I am being brave as I am showing you my emotions!' Most of all, crying lets all the bad thoughts out. What I'm trying to say is that if you've felt anxiety recently, have a good cry. I wouldn't necessarily suggest in a cafe in front of a lot of people, but perhaps with the closest person you know. Or if not, when you're alone, because even that takes strength, to reveal your emotions to yourself. 

Quite often these feelings can come from other people. Recently many of my friends have mentioned how someone's reaction to their feelings made them feel incredibly shit. What I'd also like you to realise (other than that life is shit) is that people are shit. People are great as well. But a lot of them are shit. You will be able to find the right people. But also, everyone is selfish one way or another. Everyone includes you and me. We never realise how much we affect other people because we're too busy thinking about whether we've done the right thing or not. Which may seem nice, and it is, but does this not also feed someone's ego? I don't mean to quote the most high culture sitcom of the 20th century, Friends (please note the sarcasm), but there's the whole episode where Phoebe tries to do good for others without building her own ego and it's impossible. But not only that, people are often thinking about themselves before thinking about others. Once we realise that the whole world doesn't revolve around ourselves, perhaps then it'll be simpler. But til then, we must not get bogged down when someone hasn't lived up to our standards of how they should be. Something might be amazing/stressful/important to you which is mediocre to someone else. 

I feel like this blog post was filled with many ideas that could be used in more than one post. But as I hadn't written in a while, I wanted to get it all down now! I'm sorry if it doesn't make much sense, I'm tired and my head is filled with nonsense. I will try to keep up with the blog!

Monday, 26 January 2015

It takes guts to be gentle and kind

I seem to be watching a lot of group panels of women in the Film and TV industry. Obviously, I watched the Hollywood Reporter roundtables with Reese Witherspoon - whom I now have a new found respect for - and Julianna Moore - who I've always had respect for. But I also watched the likes of Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham talking about writing TV shows and films and when they were talking I just felt completely and utterly jealous. I realised that's what I want to do. These women are so influential to me and so many other young women worldwide and I just can't help but feel that it would be the greatest feeling. 

Mindy and Lena make they're shows real life (Lena in particular) by showing on-screen what no one usually talks about. This resonates with me so much because it makes me realise that what I thought was 'weird' is actually completely normal - it's society who is weird. They, and many other female writers, come under so much scrutiny because of this though, because apparently it's 'too much information'. But since when was information too much? Surely what we all want is to learn. To learn about different experiences, different cultures different ideas. Girls and The Mindy Project teach us these things, and as a young female, I need to hear it to know I'm not the only one.

That's what is so amazing about art in general - it makes you feel apart of something. You realise you're not the only one feeling a specific way. All I want in life is for more people to appreciate humanities and the arts. Being an English student can be hard. The question 'what do you study?' Sometimes haunts me, because you can't tell how they're going to react. A lot of this generation is obsessed with getting a job and this makes me incredibly sad. Why can't people do things because they love it? I'm sick of people asking me what I'm going to do with my degree after I've finished University because right now, I'm grateful that I'm even here in the first place.

So many people don't have an education in this world, and I feel many people take their's for granted. An education is the most important thing that we go through. It is a chance to discover worlds outside of your own and find your likes and dislikes. I feel most people now have a one-track mind and are not appreciating what is around them. Sometimes I do have doubts about everything though. What am I going to do? Am I just wasting my time while everyone else is working for the future? But I love English. Don't let those bullies get into your brain!

See, you don't have to be famous to be ridiculed and judged. We're all human. Read a book, it'll help you realise that and you'll gain so much empathy for people. In my view, that's the ticket to being a nice person - fully understanding how other's are feeling and adjusting yourself to fit with them. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Dear Taylor Swift


Lucky Magazine HQ (x)

Dear Taylor,

I wasn't sure if I should do this seeing as a letter is quite personal, but I liked the idea that because there would be no chance of you actually reading this, then others can. 
I have been a fan of yours for a very long time now. While I have enjoyed other artists in the past, I always manage to come back to your music and I still get the same feelings now, when I'm eighteen as I did when I was thirteen. I like how I feel that I have grown up with you, from the fairytales to the more mature, pop sound. However, I've noticed there are so many things that I haven't experienced in your songs that, at this present moment in my life, I wish I had because it just makes me feel like I'm stuck as that thirteen year-old hopeless romantic. 
In September I started University without ever having a boyfriend, and only having kissed two people when I was stupidly drunk on a holiday with my friends (I still have a feeling of dread whenever I think about it). What I'm trying to say is, I've not even been close to having boyfriend. When I come back from University, I dread the question, 'so...any boys?' because the answer is always the same blunt no. I've learnt how to quickly change the subject whenever it comes around but obviously what I really want to do is talk endlessly with my friends about boys and advice, but I've never had the chance. Instead, I listen to all my friends discuss it while I get smaller and smaller until I'm practically invisible. 
Now, I don't want this worry to take over my life, it just makes the same question whirl around my brain - 'What's wrong with me?'. I know so many people go through this and I don't know whether it's because all my friends are now talking about relationships, or if your music has made me realise how little I actually relate to it, or perhaps it's the fact my brother has been with his girlfriend for 6 years when they met when they were 16. All I know is that I can't stop thinking about it and feeling sick when discussions come around. If there is one thing I can relate to in your song 'Blank Space', it's the lyric 'I get drunk on jealousy'. There doesn't seem to be anything that I can properly relate to. No TV series, no music, no book. 
I love your message of being single and having your friends, because I've always felt that. I have the greatest friends ever and they remind me a lot of your group, but I can't help but think the difference is, you've been in love, you've had that feeling - I haven't and I, rather stupidly, want it. I'm that kind of girl who's fine with being on her own, because she doesn't know any different - I want to have that difference. 
I hate that I'm writing a letter to you about this because it's not until now, when I've moved away, that I've started to realise how unlucky in love I am. I have made great friends at University, so it's not that I'm lonely. I think it's because I'm nearly 19 and have never been in a relationship, while everyone else around me has. I know you're great at your advice about this kind of thing, so I felt you were the best to write to. 

Your best friend you never knew about.

PS - I always knew you were a feminist, I have written so many things arguing that you are. Thanks for finally voicing it.

A slightly different blog post today. I have had this idea for a while now and I think I might do more but with different people in the public eye where I ask for their advice. Seeing as Taylor Swift has always been my number one, I felt she should be first. I think my next letter will be to Lorelai Gilmore, so yes, fictional characters are included. I hope you like this letter thing, and obviously, if you have any advice for me, give me a shout. 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Random Chat

I write this while listening to 'Blood on the Tracks' on my record player, in my grimy student kitchen having only eaten four digestives all day. I have no idea what this is going to turn into but sometimes they can be the best blog posts. Obviously I haven't been writing much recently, and the last thing I did write wasn't seen by many people which made me realise that I'm distancing myself a bit from my blog - which I don't want to happen. I love writing. I love reading other blog posts. I love looking back at my own blog posts and laughing at my, slightly depressing, and melodramatic teenage self'; but we all go through it. I remember when I got messages from you guys saying that you understood what I was going through and I felt like I was a martyr for my generation, despite only getting these messages from a handful of girls. That was enough though. I thought I had realised my calling, then I realised I couldn't get any real money out of this; I'm never going to be the next 'Zoella' (first of all, my hair tutorials would be me brushing my hair). Now I'm at University watching everyone else look like they know what they want to do, getting the right experience, and I spend most of my time in my bedroom putting off getting a job just in case it might get in the way of essay writing(!)

So, it seems that I've finished my first term at University and it still feels very strange. It also turns out that my worries are still exactly the same; I have no idea what I want to do with my life and it looks like everyone around me does. I like to hope that they're the same as me but University is full of people who have their head on straight and are aiming towards a goal they (or their parents) have wanted them to do since they were eight years old. While they charge towards that goal, I stay in doors and watch two or three episodes of Gilmore Girls in one night.

I guess I must think that everything will just work out, but deep down I know it won't. Just getting your degree works for no one, unless your dad happens to be Clint Eastwood or your mum's Meryl Streep. Sadly, neither are my parents. What I'm trying to say is it's not what you know, but I'm really trying to fight that. I want to know, I want to be educated, I want to be cultured. What's wrong with that? I have grown up in a family that emphasises the importance of education (both my parents are English teachers), but not only schooling education, life education. Life education, in the sense that it's important to be cultured and artistic. As my ultimate gal, Taylor Swift says, 'Life is just a classroom.' Obviously a huge way to learn about life is to get a job. I have worked in Oxfam before, that's about it. (The job in the future prospects are looking good aren't they..). But again, I'd like to emphasise the point that I didn't have a job at A Level because my mum wanted me to focus on my studies. If I had I don't think I would have got into Bristol, but who knows?

I just wish I had the confidence to write for the newspaper here. I used to blame it on the fact that I had no ideas, but after three months I know that was just a lie. If you ever think of anything I could write about, send me an email, it would be much appreciated. So I guess this blog post was a way to reflect on the past three months. University can be great. It can also be extremely lonely, you just have to get used to those juxtapositions. I also thought (like I did with college), that I would at least have some romantic adventures, but just as normal, that hasn't happened. I don't know what's wrong. I don't know what is so repulsive about me but I'm still as single as ever while I watch all my other friends do what 'normal' teenagers do. I'm not too fussed about it though. I'm actually quite happy in my own skin, of course I have faults, we all do, just the romantic change would be nice. I also hate the pitying look and the awful way people say 'I'll try and find you someone' as if I'm useless and can't do it myself....(I have no idea where to start though..).

What I'm trying to say is, if you also haven't had any romantic engagements, join the club! There's a bunch of us! Mindy Kaling lost her virginity when she was 22 and Lena Dunham was also well into her twenties. There's never any rush, we just have to keep positive that it will happen one day...Right now, I prefer to focus on more important things, like records, reading and Gilmore Girls (I desperately tried to think of another 'R' but there was nothing! I couldn't write 'Rory' because she's my least favourite character). I'm not sure I really like how this blog post finished. I don't want people to think I'm so lonely person desperate for love, that's not the case! Just recently I have been thinking about it and observing other people (not in a creepy, stalkerish way). I just observe other situations and realise I don't want that.