Saturday, December 24, 2016

Charities

Hello everybody, it's that time of the year again, where the festivities are coming to an end. I love the time after Halloween onward where it's time to prepare for Christmas. Now, now, don't tell me that Christmas preparations aren't supposed to start before December, I agree with the retail counterparts of advertising for Christmas after Halloween. I mean, ever since I became a minimalist, I don't even shop that much anymore, especially if it's for clothes, I'll tell you that. I splurge on food and also skincare products, like soap and moisturiser, but that's about it. I'll talk more about my minimalism in a different blog post. BUT THE COSTA CHRISTMAS SPECIALS THOUGH! HOW CAN YOU RESIST THAT? AND THE GREGGS PASTIES! (Okay, I'll calm down now)

Anywho, this post is about charity. In the spirit of giving, the lovely and kind people all around the world are more than willing to help out the poor. Soup kitchens open, churches giving out free tea and coffee to the homeless and just about anyone that would stop and have a chat. It's amazing how many people are more than happy to spare loose change during this season more than any other time of the year. Now, I don't mean to be a cynic, but a lot of us only tend to give during Christmas time. But this really isn't about people at all. 

Rather, this is about charity organisations. Do you realise that during this time of the year, charities go all out to rake as much donation from the people as well. I mean, I suppose it's all for a good cause, so it's okay, right? It's all for helping others during this time where a lot of people cannot afford a Christmas tree, right? But then again, I beg to be heard. I don't doubt that the donation made are going to help some people. But I do doubt how a lot of the money are used by charities. For instance, advertising. Advertisement for charities are not free, where does that money come from? Yes, donations. Administration fee, from donation. Volunteer payments, donations. Yes, there are paid volunteers. A lot of the money get spent on the administrative part of the institution. And the money comes out from the donations. 60K salary for the director of a charity, really? Is that what my donation is going towards? Most of us give money to charities with the sole intention of 100% of the donation going to the people who need it, but this really isn't the case at all.

Also, one more thing I hate about charities are that they sell your information to get more money. So, ever wondered how those people who are selling PPI claims and all that get your number? Most of the time, it's from the subscription that you make, where they have a clause stating that they will share it with 3rd party organisations, which you can refuse by unticking the check box, but all charity sell your information for money. This is why I have added my number to the TPS system which does not let institutions with no affiliation with you contact you.

If ever someone contacts you about a PPI claim, don't hang up, ask them to remove your details from their system, otherwise, your data will continued to be stored. This is one of the bad things about giving to charities. I still get contacted by these PPI claims or whatever, but I firmly tell them to remove my data from their system. A lot of times, it's about telling them to remove my data before they hang up. It's really an annoyance.

Further to that, this is the season for guilt-tripping. I hate the guilt-tripping tactics that charities adopt during this festive season. Sure, I'll give to charities, but how many charities do they expect you to give? Also, charity volunteers are thought to touch you when they are speaking to you because psychologically this is to create a form of connection with you and you'd be more likely to donate. I don't mean to be a snob but I hate being touched, so, this actually has the opposite effect on me. 

Charity volunteers get bonuses depending on how many people they sign on and that's why they request your card details when you are there and they try their best not to let you go away and think about it. It's a shame really that all these jobs require their employees to haggle with people, it takes away the sincerity of the charity. 

I'm honestly not sorry because I would much rather volunteer my time rather than give money unless I know the money is being put for good use in my local community. Call me a sceptic but I'd rather much spend my money where I know exactly what it's being used for. I contact a charity organisation directly to ask them how much of the percentage raised goes towards the cause and it helps me make an informed decision as to whether or not I choose to give to them. I think times have changes since digital media got spread, I used to just give to charities without thinking twice, but now, especially after what I know, I just don't want my wage going to something that I don't believe in or something that goes partially to the administrative part of the charity without them actually letting me know that it goes there. 

Lastly, I would say that during this time of the year, the guilt tripping goes on with people giving "But it's Christmas" as a reason. Sorry, but that's not a good enough reason. If you'd like me to list a number of charities that I do give to, I'd be more than happy to, but I'd rather you asked me privately rather than stating it over here. Now, I'm not saying that I'm a saint or that I give consistently to charities but I choose my poison in any situation and charities are not poison per se but I think you may know what I mean. 

Till my next post. xx

Friday, December 2, 2016

Reading and writing

Hello, hello! The festive spirit is in full swing and it's once again that time of the year where we've got fairy lights everywhere (ERMAGAHD), music filling the streets, toys in every store, sale everywhere (not that I shop for things since I adopted a minimalist lifestyle) and best of all, discounts on flight fares! Hurrah! I always say that travel journeys expand thinking and allows gained insight to things you would have never thought about before. 

Hence, here I am again! This time, I wanted to talk about my love for books, and writing. I knew I was an odd cookie when there was once a motivational speaker that came to my lower secondary cohort to give a speech and he asked, if you wanted information and you had a video or a book, which would you go first and apparently, the answer was video and I was literally there like, "Mate, you haven't heard of reading books first before you watched the movie?" and back then, I thought he was the biggest idiot of all time, which I still think so too as well, although to a lesser extent. 

I'm that person or rather as I frequently refer to myself as, a baby whale, that can be left on its own just reading. I enjoy long hours at the airport when I make the dreaded journey home (not so often) as long as I'm equipped with a good book. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way and a lot of people prefer watching a movie or watching videos, which I'm not excluded from. But, in reference to information, I would rather like to read, whereas watching videos to me allows me to gain insight into other people's lives. I find people's lives fascinating and their daily routine interesting as we all live in this lovely planet called earth and yet, even if we were on the same course, or the same job, our daily routine differs extensively.

I find people so interesting, yet, my social anxiety only allows intervals of interaction with humans otherwise, I do feel hopelessly depressed. Judging by my personality, people take it as an outgoing and an almost never being offended type of character, but I do get worn down by people a lot. I am an introvert after all. I think often, people misunderstand what it means by being an introvert and an extrovert, people can be an introvert but outgoing, and people can be an extrovert but shy. It's possible to have any sort of combination when it comes to character and personality type. It comes as a surprise to a lot of people that I'm now comfortable to speak about my likes and dislikes and emotions which previously I haven't been so open about. 

I still think there is a barrier between myself and people, I highly distrust although always favouring giving the benefit of the doubt. But in most cases, I express myself most effectively through my writing. I feel that through my writing, I am able to be myself, to allow my thoughts to come out as raw as my thoughts would allow and never filtering my disapproval (although on many occasions I do- certainly in an academic piece of writing). 

The thoughts and code of conduct of others often limits us to expressing true opinions and often is the case when we choose to suppress our opinion for the benefit of being liked or accepted. I have spoken about this a couple of times in the past, where it's better to stand for something than to hold nothing of importance. I still feel the same way. The negligence of our own thoughts should be a crime of it's own, however, wording it is as important or otherwise of higher importance in a social setting. Some behaviours are deemed unacceptable when respect and gratitude are not observed at all times. However, I still feel this is rather cultural and in many aspects I enjoy the behavioural shaping of an individual based on their culture and appreciate the diversity although at times some culturally accepted behaviour do vex me tremendously. 

The freedom that writing gives me as an individual gives me independence and a platform to write and share my thoughts. However, till today, I still feel that some people feel it necessary to openly assume that they know me through my writing. Unfortunately, as much as I lay it out there, no one can ever know the writer. As much as linguistic study and literature reviews go, you never know the author, you know what they're thinking at a particular time, you will never know the author unless they allow you to know them and any form of false praise is never appreciated. Hence is such with creative minded people, transparent is the mind of the one who judges. 

Till my next post. xx

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Have you got "soul"

Have you ever fallen in love with something so deeply that you'd feel like your life was meaningless if it ever ceased to exist?

Now, I don't mean someone. I have a completely different view on human relationships but something more physical, like an object or abstract, like your interests, i.e. travelling, or reading books. 

What if in an alternate universe, when you started to like something, it gets taken away from you. What would you do? How would you feel? Would you feel better if it was justified by being given a replacement that you could learn to like/love but then once again, it was taken away and replaced and it just became a cycle that would continue and would never cease. How would you feel about that?

Do you think you could potentially like living like that?

I don't think you would be too happy about it. Especially since you'd have to learn to like something all over again, but also, to think that you wouldn't have liked it or maybe even feel neutral about the new object in the first place. 

Don't you think it's tiring to learn to like something, to adjust, to adapt, to learn? Don't you feel sometimes, it's nicer to keep what you have and to shape changes around that instead of having something taken away from you? 

But, don't you think this happens to us every time in our life? For example, forced to adjust in kindergarten, primary school, secondary school then university, or if you skip that part, work and then the cycle continues and you have no control of the people that comes into your life. No control of the material that is given to you. You get depressed, you have happy times, you have neutral situations and sometimes, you enjoy it, but then you just lose it, because it's time to adjust and move on to a new situation. 

I don't know why but sometimes, you are lucky enough to keep remnants of your past, such as interests like reading, but then the material you read, say you love books, but then you now have to read journals, then executive summaries and then articles and then what else? See what I'm coming to? Do you actually get to keep things that you used to love? Say you like golf but then you move to a new country and the golf course is far away and you don't have a car and it gets difficult based on the work that you do or if you're studying, it takes too much of your time. 

So, you think the alternate universe felt unfair? But, when I put it into real life context, then the first thing you say is, that's normal, that's life. But, is it really justifiable just because that's how life is? So, if that happens, in terms of the alternate universe, then, wouldn't that be normal to them as well? So, why should it be deemed unfair? 

That's how we live, but is this how we want things to be? I suppose we all have to adjust and accept change but in terms of liking it, we learn to like it, or maybe learn to hate it sometimes. So, in terms of progressive change, we do have to position ourselves in different situations but maybe that's why our mindset is absolutely important as to whether or not we choose to accept the situation we're in. Don't you think? 


Till my next post. xx

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Societal norm

I may have written a post along the lines to this but I feel it important to discuss the societal norm that we impose on people, myself included in terms of deeming what is acceptable and what is not. 

Recently, I met someone who was really blunt in speech and observed no regard to what other people might have thought about them. In terms of the question asked, it was a rather neutral question in which the question was not meant to offend, but rather, to make a query and gauge their opinion. 

However, in terms of the manner that they answered the question, was in a matter-of-fact way and did not mean to offend, but rather would have offended someone else if they were in that category. To give context to the situation, it's like asking someone do you like rock and roll music and them saying, no, I hate it and can't be bothered about it. So, to a rock and roll aficionado, it may be offensive, only because they take great interest in that genre. But in terms of the person's opinion, it doesn't really apply, because it was a genuine enquiry of interest and the response was appropriate as it was their true feelings. But, a lot of us would have said, they could have phrased it better, myself included. 

But truly, what we are always seeking is a positive response rather than a negative response. This brings to light the opportunity that we seek to be liked and to be perceived amiable in the eyes of others. I suppose on one hand, we dislike people because of their behaviour toward others and in another way, we dislike others based on their reasoning and their opinion on things. 

There has been many research done that bases human relationships forming from the number of things that people have in common. If you look at popular dating sites, matches are made based on the interests as well, with the sole assumption that people with like interests would be more compatible together. But then again, in terms of attraction, there is the well known saying that goes, "opposite attracts". So, in that sense, it proves contradictory to the research carried out. 

But really, is it? Because truly, the correlation is not between attraction and long-lasting relationships. But rather, common interests and the time span of relationships. So, if we're not attracted to people with similar most of the time, then, what is it that truly drives a friendship or a relationship? I have befriended many people who did not have any common interests with me but it was just lovely to have a chat and to do things together. 

In terms of our ideas, it was hard to agree on the same thing, but we've been friends for 4 years, we've travelled abroad together and we have been keeping in touch ever since although there is not many if not nothing that brings us together. Hence, proving that what society things is why two individuals should be friends or spend time together, i.e. because they have things in common, void. 

In the art of expressing ourselves, be it in verbal or written conversation and many a times, through body language, there is a lot of predetermined connotations on how someone should and should not act in society. This is clearly seen during the early 1800s where society associated behaviour with status and class and because it was a time when robust development took place, it proves a good case study to dissect. During the time, women are bound to their husband, being expected to obey them and to cater to their every needs, but over time, this idea has developed and is now seen as oppression. So, making a point that what society deemed normal before is now seen as backwards if practiced today. 

So, in terms of opinion, is it so wrong to express someone's opinion in a blunt form, after all, it answers the question. Why is it in our society these days, it's very easy to offend but extremely difficult to satisfy. Maybe we've just grown so accustomed to having rules that the absence of it makes it difficult for us and then we cringe at the thought of actual freedom of speech instead of the make believe that we are all entitled to our rights. But in terms of our rights, do I have to campaign for something in order to be heard or rather, shouldn't it just be accepted that people accept people as they are. 

But then comes in the denomination that if you can't accept it, stay away, but why must you mould yourself into an acceptable human being when really, from past historical figures, I'm not saying bad or good, but has had varying personalities and still managing to make a difference. If you notice, not every human being that is liked is well known. Having an opinion would change you but standing for it even when you're taunted or disliked, makes a difference, whether good or bad. 

So, my point really is to say that society is weird and judgmental and I'm completely aware of my standing as part of the society, but I find it weird how sometimes, we get to absorbed in behaving in society that we forget that we're individuals with opinions of our own. 


Til' my next post. xx

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I love food and why I choose

If anyone knew me, they would know that I love to cook, I love to bake and most of all, I love to eat. It's not really hard to make me happy, just give me a flapjack and I'm already happy. But over the years, I've actually realised that it's not actually the act of eating that gets me feeling satisfied, rather, it's the wholesomeness of the food that keeps me happy and fulfilled. I love a slice of cake or two (or I'd just leave the plate with a slice and take the whole thing), but I'd rather pair it with a cup of tea to help me wash it down, if you know what I mean ;) .

However, the trouble is that we all have that urge of eating chocolate or sweets and once we're in that zone of just eating sweets, we binge eat our way through and that's really not what we intended to do in the first place. The problem is that sugar causes our blood glucose levels to spike and causes us to be hyper, but it's the sugar crash after a couple of hours that really is the thing that causes us to feel sluggish and annoyed. This in turn, leaves us craving something that would get us back to that "high" and the easiest fix? Sugar, or caffeine. I usually go for another cup of coffee or tea and honestly, it's the worst feeling ever. But then again, you just go back to the same damn routine of having more of that horrible sweetness. 

Asides that however, I'm on a continuous journey of just looking after myself but it gets very hard when you commit to a notorious cycle of sweet binge and especially when people offer it to you, it's hard to say no. But I suppose, it's a choice and I'm not capable of saying no. However, I don't really feel guilty when I eat sweets, rather, I just feel guilty when I put on weight. But, haha, we all know that isn't going to stop me. 

Anyway, if you're the type of person who is looking to resist sugar, I won't say don't have any, rather, I'd say, choose what you'd like to have and instead of taking everything, if they're sweets, keep it for later but if it's cake, stop yourself from having that second slice, have a cup of tea or drink a cup of water beforehand. I find that really helpful and I am guilty of eating fondant and the icing on top of cakes. 

I'm looking for new topics that people would potentially be interested in. If anyone is interested in my opinion, do drop me a line or two on my facebook account, I'd be more than happy to write.

Till my next post. xx

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Why you can't finish what you'd like to start

So, I've been experimenting for the past 4 weeks as to why we don't actually start what we wish to finish, and in other words, why do we procrastinate? The reason behind why we procrastinate is actually not as complex as we anticipated. I have recently finished reading the book, The Chimp Paradox: Mind Management by Prof. Steve Peters and he put context and names to things that I had already known/assumed but solidified my belief of how the mind actually works. 

There are two parts to ourselves, one that we do like and always aspire to be and another that sometimes is uncontrollable and reacts in a self-destructive manner, at least in a social setting. Some of us has better control of ourselves, or rather, we tend to call it the demons in us, when really it's just our primitive side acting up and in other words, our emotional reaction to things. If uncontrolled, it can do exactly that, self-destruct, but at the same time, there are many methods to control this behaviour, you just need to know what works for you. 

So, for the past 4 weeks I have been putting off a task that I had to really do and I documented my feelings and a lot of the time, I found myself putting it off because of how long it would take me. Although I knew that once I started on the task, I would immediately finish it in no time at all, but it was the thought of it that was putting me off. I was convincing myself that it wasn't important enough or that I was too tired to begin the project, not because I couldn't do it, but because I didn't want to do it. 

So, today marks the 4th week of my procrastination and all I did was tell myself I was going to do it, baked myself a cake and placed it in front of me. I told myself that if I get everything done, then  I would be able to enjoy a slice of cake when my housemate comes back from work. So, I finished my project in no time at all, I'm still surprised as to how long the day actually is, I'm updating my blog and I will be drawing for my vision board in awhile. It's really impressive how delayed gratitude actually is the best motivation for ourselves. 

We tend to dismiss our little achievements after it is done and I admit, I'm guilty of it. I work really hard towards something, then I dismiss it as not being as relevant as I expected it to be. These kind of behaviour is actually very negative and demotivates your subconscious which leaves it feeling neglected, so, no matter how small the reward is, I have learnt that it is very important to reward yourself, even if that means, having a cup of hot cocoa. 

One more thing that I have found to be very useful is to not tell everyone about your dreams but to rather convince your subconscious self to want to achieve something by having a vision board and allowing yourself to do research about it, in order to build anticipation. Everyone is of course different, some people find that if they tell someone that they need to lose 5kg, then they feel guilty if they don't and try their best to prove that they can do it, but myself on the other hand, once I've said it, it feels like I've achieved it and so, it really depends on yourself and knowing yourself is key to taking on any challenge. 

Another thing that I find to be very interesting is, I have recently adopted a more minimalist lifestyle, I have followed the KonMari method of decluttering and have been more conscious of the decisions I make. I make it a routine to make my bed every morning and I also make sure to throw the trash and organise my room because it really only takes you 10 minutes to organise your room and if you do it every day, then there is less cumulative clutter and the happier you are to engage in a task and I also feel like my room is a zen space where I am able to work, sleep and also relax at whichever time I feel appropriate. I understand that some people feel like they cannot work in their room, but I have just adopted a different technique, by sleeping on one side and leaning towards the wall while sitting on my bed when I'm working and just lying on the edge of the other side of the bed when I'm just watching series or YouTube videos. So, I think space is really not an issue but it's just how you train your mind to associate with your behaviour and the task you have at hand.

If you'd like me to write more on this theory, do not hesitate to leave a comment, this is just a summary on the work I have been looking into and hopefully, you'd be able to find a work-rest balance as well as these type of things are extremely important in maintaining a healthy and active mind. 

Till my next post. xx

Friday, August 26, 2016

Feminism, social rights and humanity

Following recent events in France about the Burkini ban, I feel the need to speak my mind. This is something I feel a lot about. Not the ban on covering yourself in particular, but rather, the oppression that is felt in a lot of other aspects as well. I will cover quite a bit of context in this post in regards to my beliefs and so, I request that anyone that does not have something constructive to say or would just like to bash on something, just leave, because I've read a lot of the comments that are posted on all the posts shared on this topic and I've had enough of just watching and doing nothing. 

Firstly, let's talk about feminism, by definition, it is the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of sexes. This means that whatever men do, women can do and women should get equal pay, equal benefits and equal treatment at their work and workplace, and just in life for that matter. By definition's default, we as women do not get to see this equality on a day to day basis and it's frustrating how some people still do find that this is justifiable. 

When people think of feminism, a lot of people think, "loud women who go naked to protest". Don't find this funny? Ask around; a regular Joe or Jane will tell you that. To be honest, being a feminist is underrated and seen as something that would get you into trouble or even seen as a pain in the arse to a lot of people. This is because when people think of a feminist, they think of a woman who wants to attack a man, who is extremely opinionated without concrete grounds to support their case and are just loud noise without action. Here, is where I step in, in my opinion, there are a wide range of feminists and their beliefs can range from extreme to level-headed.

In terms of my belief of feminism, I believe in equity- the act of being fair and impartial. I believe in giving a woman what she is due, whether it be in the sense of respect, salary, and even time. Some things, I do believe a man does better than a woman, but it's due to the physical build of the sexes. A man, is stronger than a woman, with the few exceptions where some women are stronger than a man. So, if I were to carry a box of apples for example, I am not physically capable of doing it without struggling, but a man on the other hand, would be able to quite easily, depending on his build, carry it. When I compare a man and a woman, it's on the average guideline in terms of physical build. But, you and I both agree, assuming that the reader is able to comprehend sound judgement, that everyone is different and in cases where people do not fall in the average category, there are for example, much scrawnier looking people and on another extreme, people who are extremely "jacked".

So, in terms of physical build, I do think that sometimes, a man is better at doing heavy duty work as compared to a woman. But, it doesn't mean that only men should be given the exclusivity of doing something. For example, women are able to be pregnant, and the reasoning behind it is because women have the physical capacity to carry a foetus (baby- I won't get into scientific jargon) in their womb. On some occasions however, we have heard of people having both genitalia- termed hermaphrodites and how a "man" has given birth to a child. This means that however "abnormal" it may sound to people, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, it just means that there are cases which are less heard of. 

But the funny thing about humans are that:
1. They are afraid of what they don't know.
2. Ignorance is sometimes always the option.
3. Stopping things is better than having an option or being sorry. (arose from "Prevention is better than cure"?)
4. Not understanding and not wanting to understand.
5. Stuck in their beliefs.

Almost everything that I have listed above is something that is preventable and if I make my case, is something that can easily be changed if people wanted to. However, from what I've learnt, you can never teach someone who doesn't want to learn. This has been proven many a times when I used to work as a teaching assistant in trying to teach kids. Often, I try to learn why they are the way they are in order to get through to them. But, how many people in the 7.4 billion people can we get through to if there are so may ignorant people in the world? There's only so little or so much a person can do to help another person, but if the person chooses not to do it for themselves, then, no matter what you do, the person just won't change and even if they know it's wrong, it's not something they want to do or want to make the change. 

Hence, in terms of feminism as well, some people don't want this change, some people WANT women to stay home, cook for them, clean after them and it's sad that there are some women whom actually think this way too. I think the thing about change is sometimes, some people don't know that they have the option of doing that and I know that I have been in situations where I have hid from my parents that I had friends who were guys because I did not know that I could be friends with them. I know this may sound silly to a lot of people, but I had been in an single sex school for 11 years of my life and until today, I still find it uncomfortable to be close to men and I try really hard to be friendly around men because all my life I have been taught that men are not good and they are there to do bad things to you and they are not moral beings. 

But even so, I don't hate men, I just don't understand them as well and any opportunity that I have to speak to guys or get a little closer to them, I tend to take them and a lot of times, it has been mistaken that I like them, but in all honesty, I feel like I have no feelings whatsoever towards men except fear at most times. But it seems that most feminists see men as vile creatures but I think feminists are misunderstood by the society and not all men are the same. I don't respect men who think it's okay to make loud remarks about a person's arse and I certainly don't feel sorry for men who get slapped for mistreating a woman. But, it certainly goes both ways. If a man feels that he wouldn't want his mother or sister being catcalled or being treated unfairly, then, he is already a feminist, but a person who doesn't agree on their family members being treated unjustly but other women being treated unfairly is acceptable, are unfortunately twisted, self-centered beings. 

What happened in France was that authorities were asking a woman to remove her veil, something that she chose to do in a public space, something that she chose to wear, somewhere she chose to lie with the whole intention of her privacy and her choice to be respected. 



In all honesty, I hate the sun. I don't like the beach. But if my friends were all to go, I might have gone with them and I would have been in long sleeved clothing and I would have a wide straw hat to cover my face as well. I might go lie down on the sand for awhile just to warm myself up from the cool breeze- sea breeze is colder in the afternoon compared to at night, from the basic geography I've learnt. But I would never ever be caught dead wearing a bikini on a beach, I might wear a bikini in the blue lagoon in Iceland but never in warm climate. That is my preference. I don't like the summer and I dislike the beach. I burn very quickly and easily and I have patchy sun burns all over my body and my worst affected place is my face. 

Judging by the picture and the video that I saw, this was not a choice where she was respected for, the lady next to her and the people around her looks at her with indifference. The impression that are given are of acceptance that someone is being publicly humiliated but nothing is being done by them. So, if I were to be there in my layers of clothing, I would be asked to remove it? I would be asked to remove my clothing because I hate the sun? She is being asked to remove it because they don't agree with her religious beliefs? What gives anyone the right to disagree with someone else's beliefs? If you don't agree with the beliefs then don't practice it, but you still have to respect other people. You go to Dubai, there are so many bikini clad women lying by the beach, I don't see the authorities going there, asking people to cover up.

I think in any sense, whatever belief you hold it's because you want to and because you feel like that is right to you and because you feel love towards whatever belief you're upholding. In this sense, I just don't understand what humanity is like because the thoughts, assumptions and judgement that are brought about are sometimes without reasoning and I personally feel appalled by everything that is happening but I'm a very opinionated person, but I don't contribute in conversations unless asked because people don't want to hear what they don't want to hear. But if I were to be in a conversation in a group of people, I WILL NOT agree with someone just to be liked, if you ask for my opinion, I will give you my two pence worth but the thing is that a lot of people take things too personally. 

If someone were to ask my opinion, my response is to say it in a matter of fact way and I usually don't do this unless I know the person really well and I judge by how the person would take it. So, I would say it in a milder form but I would always give reasoning behind my answer, not just say, "I don't like the dress", rather, "I don't like the dress because the shade of purple does not suit your skin tone and a different shade would suit you better", and this is merely an example. 

But a lot of times, I rather stay away from sensitive topics in order to not get into debates with other people because of a rather personal issue that I fight with. I dislike speaking about religion, politics, feminism, and just about anything that would trigger people's hostility and the reason is because I'm simply fragile. But, that does not mean I am ignorant or that I don't stand up for my rights, but rather I stand up for my rights, I will tell you off if you take advantage of me and I will never ever let myself be in a position where I'm being used ever again but I can easily carry a conversation with someone if they were to listen and then speak rather than to talk over me. Culturally, there are places where this is acceptable but then again, individualistically, I am very different from you as you are different from me and I have just found myself and am happy with who I am at the moment. 

However, that brings me to another topic of "Treat people how you'd want to be treated". I feel that there should be an additional clause behind it, being "But never expect to be treated however you treat others" and then have a whole load of reasons why:
1. They were not raised the way you were.
2. They're still in their immature phase.
3. They don't realise that their actions hurt others.
4. They need time to understand.

and so on and so forth. Because we cannot expect to be treated the way we treat others. If you give a 110%, it does not necessarily mean the other person would too. So, it's important to evaluate yourself on a daily basis or more so frequently to identify the faults in yourself and your dedication and to evaluate your treatment towards others than their treatment towards you. Remember, how other people treat you is a reflection of themselves, but how you treat other people is also a reflection of YOURSELF. So, whatever choices you make even to seek revenge, would be a reflection of yourself. Truth be told, I'm not asking you to forgive other people, I'm still having a hard time to forgive the people who have done really cruel things towards me in the year before, as a lot of people close to me would know. But it's a process and it takes time and understanding and re-evaluating the situation and understanding that not everything is your fault.

I think a lot of people don't understand that with everything from the Stanford rape case, the Trump advocacy, the Burkini ban, the Palestine being taken out as a known country that so much is going on and there are things we can collectively stop and I really would like to go on protests and do as much as I can but it's finding the right channels. I don't want to go on strikes and have no change. But I want to do it no matter what. I look at the "Suffragettes" (watch the movie and read about this), and you know that a lot can be done and I want to work with decision making panels to make a change. But honestly, I'm still working on this because I don't think I know a lot about this or anything, but the little that I know, I try to work with and I try to make a change in myself and the people around me. 

Every day, on my way to the University, I see this and it speaks to me on a different level:


We are all being lied to. We are all being tied to conform, we're being made to believe. I relate life to everything I see, watch, people I talk to and meet and this is the most personal post I have written in forever. I'm very uncomfortable speaking about things that are personal to me as a lot of people would have gauged and many people have labelled me as being uptight, but, honestly, we all need to learn that we're all being lied to. We need to change us. We need to change ourselves and we need to understand that acceptance, tolerance and respect will get us far but tearing each other apart won't.


Till my next post. xx

Friday, August 19, 2016

Appreciation post

First of all, my plan to post once every Friday did not work, but it works better to have it once every two weeks, so, yes, that's what it's going to be with the occasional bonus pieces. This post is literally to share my experiences over the past month. The pictures illustrated in no form justifies the chronology of the events that has taken place. 

So here it goes:

Over a course of 3 weeks, I participated in an International Cultural Exchange Programme which was also referred to as #ICE2016 which brought together people from 5 countries, namely, India, Ghana, Pakistan, Malaysia and China, in which we were able to share our different cultures and put aside our differences. The 3 weeks that I had spent at my own University, Lancaster University, made me see a whole different side to my University, the culture of others as well as realisation of the similarities that we shared. 

I put myself out open to every sort of possibilities in the hopes of gaining new experiences and friends and I honestly felt like you truly reap what you sow. I put myself out there and I was able to meet so many different kinds of people from so many different countries. There were over 200 students and it was all extremely overwhelming to be in a situation where you were facing so many new individuals and having so little time. 

Beginning the programme, I had no initial thoughts or hopes for it. I did not give it much thought and literally just packed my bag a day before I left and hoped for the best. But the experiences and the friends that I have made are invaluable altogether. Never in a million years would I have imagined my life to be this way. 

Every day of #ICE2016 was packed with activities and we were able to experience so many things in a short period of time. There was no time for us to digest it all and now that a week has passed since the end of our journey together, it's slowly starting to sink in and I have finally had the chance to reflect on all the experiences that I've had. 

I'm normally a person who likes being on my own and who loves doing things on my own. Of course I do have friends and I love hanging out with people, but sometimes, I just like being locked away from the outside world with just the time to think, read (leisure reading) and also to learn new things from the online community. I absolutely love art, make up, trends, fashion and sports and I try my best to keep up to date with the latest trend in make up and I'm also currently dabbling in minimalism and zero waste (And the KonMari method). But seldom do I ever put myself out there just to be open to possibilities. 

However, #ICE2016 gave me the chance to just bring out the inner child in me and go all crazy without paying no attention to anything people say. I never would have said, yes, put me in a room filled with 200 people and I'll go speak to all of them, but I did and that's a mini accomplishment on its own and I never would have thought I would dislocate my finger as many times as I did over the course of 3 weeks (3 is the answer, in case you were wondering). I also got to meet so many lovely people and I'm looking forward to meeting them in their own country. 

I had the same food I did when I first came to England over the course of 3 weeks as I was in a catered accommodation and it brought back a whirl of emotions, to say the least. I also met buddies whom I will cherish for the rest of my life and I've met crew members whom I will be joining next year during my Master's. All in all, it's been a fantastic 3 weeks and funnily enough, the 3 weeks last year, I was in Tanzania, Africa and I'm definitely going to get in touch with them again. I still keep in touch with a few people but I feel like I should properly just speak to them and hopefully plan a reunion soon enough. I wonder what next year has in store for me, but, I trust that it would all be good. 

I also would like to thank everyone who keeps reading my blog and never fail to let me know your thoughts every time you see me. I might post another post in a a few days on my opinion on something as I know you all like reading it and you always give me great reviews when it comes to that. Definitely let me know what you'd like me to write or comment on and I will try my best to fulfill it in the best way possible.



Ashton Memorial


Cody


Something I do when I'm home. I love my new home.


Just pictures we took on our tour and throughout the programme. There are some people that I had more pictures with and some people that I don't have a picture with. I also have some pictures which have been taken but I have forgotten to put in here, but this is just to summarise my month and I look awful in some pictures. This is just so that if anyone would like to have a copy of the pictures, you could save it and I don't mind as long as you don't take credit for my artistic work. haha. 


















































































































































Last but not least, over the course of the next two months, I will attempt to send all of you a thank you message. I apologise in advance if I miss anyone out. Just give me a nudge and I will make sure to write one out for you. Love you all. I've said too many goodbyes this year and I hope that this is not the end of any of our friendships. I'm just a text or a call away and I literally don't mind hanging on the phone with any of you. A few people already do and I would love to keep in touch with each and everyone of you, students and buddies alike. 

I absolutely love you all.

Hope to see you all soon. 

Till my next post. xx