Monday, 5 September 2011

And now, the end is near.

Tomorrow I graduate university, and it feels too soon.

I don't want to be officially pushed out into the real world, it's scary. For seventeen years of my life, I've had an educational establishment to fall back on every September. To look forward and plan for, with a routine and a set path. I knew where I was going! I wanted to be a journalist, I had since I started high school and now I've got the qualifications and experience to do it, it's just getting there.

University was always sold as 'the best years of your life', and in some ways it was. The freedom was euphoric. We drank, we danced, we had silly inside jokes and stayed up til the small hours. In fact, while I think about it now, so much happened in those three quick years and I have so many memories to take with me. Some of the adventures I had, people I met and lessons I learnt were important parts of my time there.

I had the best of times, and I had the worst of times. I made friends, I lost friends. And maybe I was never quite fully understood, and things didn't end as I hoped but it's over now and it's the way it goes.

To think that tomorrow I will be in graduation gown and cap, with a crowd of people I shared those memories with, in the city I lived them, for possibly the last ever time is surreal, sad and scary. I've worked so hard, and it all comes down to this. I can be proud of myself and know...

I did it my way.

Goodbye class of 2011.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Tears dry on their own.

I'm sitting here listening to Amy Winehouse, and it still hasn't really sunk in that Amy's gone. When I heard the news of Amy's death yesterday, it stopped me in my tracks. A true musical legend of my generation, I've followed her career since the Brits praised her for Frank back in 2003.

It seems so unfair that we have lost so many fantastic pop culture icons because of drugs and alcohol. What is it about these substances that entice people into throwing their lives away? Back to Black pushed Amy into the public eye, and sold millions. It's a perfect, timeless album, that I could listen to again over and over again. There is so much soul, hurt and emotion on that album, that we believe every word Amy sings. She put on a hard front, but those lyrics could only come from true vulnerability.

As we watched her fall into that spiral of drugs and alcohol, lost and confused on newspaper pages, stumbling and mumbling through performances, we willed her to take control and recover. She never really did, and I believe the 'right' people around her tried to save her, but it was Amy's decision and in the end, her final one was her last.

We'll never really know what was going through her mind yesterday. I just hope the negative influencers in her life, that introduced her to that world, know what they did.

In some respect, we always suspected it would end like this, but never hoped it would. I never knew her, but through her lyrics I felt like in some way I did. Listen to her music and keep it alive, and show Amy respect. No matter what your opinion on Amy, someone still died, a family is grieving.

Goodbye Amy. I hope you found the peace you needed.

We only said goodbye with words...

Monday, 27 June 2011


I have one week until I find out if the last three long years of university were worth it.

Just thinking about it is increasing my heartbeat. I'm truly terrified. I feel I've worked hard, and tried my hardest these past three years, but I have the usual nagging fear that my grades might not be good enough...that I'll get a 2:2 instead of a 2:1. A difference of a grade could mean weeping or whooping and it makes me feel physically sick.

I almost completely lost my mind in my third year, with all the work and stress. I hope it was worth it. If you'd like to see the website I created with my group members Rachel Dalton and Lucy Smith, you can find it here or the accompanying website for the vintage lifestyle magazine I created (by myself I may add), it is here.

On top of that I had a dissertation and business of journalism coursework to do. Word to the wise, be prepared for third year, the workload is huge, so schedule yourself!

I suppose all I can do is hope, I've tried my hardest and there isn't anything more I can do this next week, except wait...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

I don't want kids ok?

I'm sorry it's been a while, but I have an insane amount of uni work to do. Third year is a bitch of epic proportions. Then if I'm not doing that I'm procrastinating or sleeping.

OK, so today's blog is a bit of a rant. I often find myself in feminist arguments with my largely non-feminist flatmates. But I find myself in the same argument with a lot of people; flatmates, family and mostly mother.

It seems, in the 21st century, where women are more powerful than ever, working their way up the career ladder, running businesses and generally taking over the world, it is still taboo for a women not to have that maternal gene.

If a woman declares she doesn't want children, she is looked at in shock and if she's young like me, told she'll change her mind. Is it almost impossible for people to understand why a woman would rather have a great career than a house, a husband and 2.4 children.

Don't get me wrong, I like children, I adore my niece and nephew. However, I have no desire to have children of my own. Selfish it may be, but I don't have the time, patience or energy. The best thing about other people's children is that I can give them back.

My life ambitions are more focused around getting a great career than getting married and having children. I want to achieve a great position on a magazine, and that takes time, energy and commitment. I don't want to have to take off maternity leave and risk my job. I don't want to hardly see my kids or form no real relationship with them, because I'm never there.

It is possible to be a powerful woman and have children, there are editors of women's magazines with children. I'm not saying you can't have one without the other. You can. But I want the freedom to do what I want, when I want to. If I have the offer of a trip to New York, I want to be able to take it.

I could never be a woman that gives up her freedom and job for a man. I've worked hard my entire life and I don't intend on spending my days cooking, cleaning and greeting my husband when he gets in from work. It would send me insane.

As much as I enjoy expensive things, I don't think I'd be content with being a kept woman, it would get incredibly boring. I wouldn't want to have to rely on a man. Surely there is more joy in working hard, saving money and buying something great for yourself. That sense you earned it, rather than owe someone.

Who knows. Maybe everyone will be right, and I may end up with children. But for now, I really can't see it. It's never been a desire of mine to have children. It is possible for a woman not to have that desire, and she shouldn't be demonised for it. It doesn't make her heartless, it just makes her different. Times have changed, and women should be able to feel like they're life is still fulfilled if they don't have children or a husband.

As long as a woman is happy with life, should it matter? A man isn't demonised for not wanting children. I hope to find a man that doesn't expect out of date conventions from me. Women have brains and are capable of making their own decisions. I shouldn't have to say "Oh you want a child? OK, I'll have one, my hearts not in it, but sure...I'll give up my life if that's what you want."

Call me selfish and heartless, but it's my decision if I decide to pro-create.