Friday, 26 February 2016

Independence Is Not Loneliness

So I watched this video on Facebook and thought - how cool is that, I agree with everything they have said in it. I'm going to share it. Then, later on in the same day I heard this:

"I don't like school. I have to get a boyfriend by the time I'm twenty so he can look after me."

At this point I piped up and said "don't you want to be able to look after yourself by the time you are twenty?"

She shook her head and said "No. I want to have a boyfriend that will look after me by the time I'm twenty. That's what everyone in school wants too."

The reply she got from her guardian was this: "No. You have to go to school, study and work hard, and then look after me." In his defence (he was her grandfather or some relation) he was kidding about the 'look after me' part of the reply.

But after that, all I wanted to do was ask why he didn't tell her to want to be able to support herself. That independence and stability is actually a really good thing to have in life. That this doesn't mean she couldn't have a boyfriend, but does mean that she shouldn't want to rely on her boyfriend. Why did you not tell her that independence is not lonelinessWhy not?

Why did you not tell her to work hard and achieve her dreams. That at the age of twenty she could be inventing things, at university, or doing an apprenticeship, starting and running her own business, working, doing something she really really loved, - basically she could do ANYTHING. That she is capable of amazing things! Why did you not tell her that independence is not lonelinessWhy did you not say this? It made me want to cry.

But here's the thing. I am certain, in fact I know, that the first thing that goes through some of my family members heads when they see me is that I'm "not married...still".

I've been told that I have studied too much, that I often work too much. I've even been told I don't work enough. I've been told that I'm wasting my skills by not getting a job related to my undergrad studies. I've been told to do what I want now because after marriage I may not get the same chances - what with responsibilities and all....but then I've been told I can do whatever I want after I get married.

Let me tell you something, none of the above paragraph makes sense. It's all an oxymoron. Each piece of advice contradicts the other. I wish someone had told me at such a young age that independence is not loneliness. That individuality is great.

Ok, so I am in no way against marriage and relationships. I'm actually the opposite. I want to get married. I want to share my life with someone, share my happiness, make memories, travel, buy a house together, have kids. But in the beginning, middle and end, it will be 'ours'. It will be 'our' marriage, 'our' memories, 'our' children, 'our' house. Not I, 'us'. I want to be able to offer independence and stability and and add to the marriage. I want to help be supportive of my partner and I want the other person to help and be supportive to me too. Even if this means not working for a while, or working more than I normally would. Marriage, being in a relationship, is a partnership. There are two people, not one.

And I'm fully aware that sometimes circumstances make it that we may need to rely on others. What I don't believe is that we should encourage our youth to want to rely on someone else. Independence is not loneliness.

I mean come on, you wouldn't want to have to be dependent on someone, so why don't we teach others this?

Oh, and this goes out to everyone. We should encourage everyone.

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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Vanilla Book Group

Morning all!

My stomach keeps rumbling. It rumbles like clockwork at exactly the same times everyday - I'm going to eat more and see if it makes a difference. Plus, I do like to eat! Good food and a good book are two of my favourite things! What are yours?

Anyway, back to the actual reason for this post :)

Back in December 2015 my close friend Mark decided that we were to start a book group like Michael Zuckerberg did on Facebook, and so we did. I was lucky in that he did all the hard work and was lovely enough to include me!

The aim of our book group is really simple: read! Oh, and flexibility. See here's the thing. Mark and I are both very busy and we understand that others are too. Often we found that in a book club, there was a lot of commitment required and we can't always commit! So we decided that one book a month for people who can participate in that month was ideal. This meant that people have the option to say: "Hey guys, I won't be taking part this month. See you next month!" We like having this option.

We also want to have a different host each month - the host would pick the book for that month and have control of the chat. This is an idea that we are currently testing and so far so good!

One other thing that is important to us at The Vanilla Book Group is variety. We want - and I'm sure many other groups do this too - to read a diverse range of books. And boy let me tell you something, we've been running for two months and we definitely have been diverse in our book choices so far. First months read was 'Wonder' by R J Palacio and this month we are reading 'The Gap of Time' by Jeannette Winterson.

Wonder is a children's book and a beautiful little boy called August who is born with facial abnormality. We see life though his eyes as he begins school for the first time. Later on in the book we see things through other characters eyes and this was really insightful. And I quite enjoyed reading as August gained more confidence in himself and flourished despite all the troubles he faced!

'A Gap in Time' on the other hand is quite a dark and gritty retelling of Shakespeare's 'A Winters Tale'. I haven't finished this book yet so can't comment on the whole thing but from what I've read, I will definitely be finishing it!!

Oh, and one last thing I should mention - initially we needed a name for our book group and so called ourselves The Vanilla Book Group with the intention that we would change it in the future. But I like our name and so I think we will keep it for now. We are on Facebook and can be found here.

So, what do you reckon - fancy joining? Are you in a book group already? How's it going?

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Monday, 8 February 2016

The Originals

So I just finished watching The Originals on Netflix and for a minute after it finished, I felt lost! I sat there thinking 'oh dear, what shall I watch now that it's finished?!' I often get this feeling after I've watched - more often when I read - something I'm drawn into/quite enjoyed. Even though I'm not sure how much I enjoyed watching The Originals. I definitely got this feeling after watching The Office (US) and Community - check them out people, I laughed so much whilst watching these series!! Oh, and also Once Upon a Time - eeeeeeeeeee I loved the retelling of the fairytales!!!

I have to say, I did prefer the second series of The Originals in comparison to the first but that may be because I watched the second one more recently and therefore my memory of the story line is much clearer.

What I liked:
  • Ok, so I don't really watch scary films and because I jump quite easily but I do like gore - and this had a little - not loads because I've seen more - bit of gore. I especially enjoyed the parts with popping out veins - there were quite a few of these as this happed when vampires were staked. And they were always trying to stake someone or another.
  • The lack of intimate scenes - hooray! There are times in series where I've sat there thinking 'again with the kissing and stuff?!' but I never felt this way in The Originals - this series wasn't a typical 'sex and vampires' one...well if it was I must have missed it!  
  • The story line was interesting as it was based around family and blood ties. It all linked back to the Originals - well obviously it would because then what would be the point right? But I especially enjoyed when the older sister came into the equation (I won't give too much away!)
  • The cast - need I say more?
  • The love triangles - I'm not normally one for love triangles but it was interesting to see how they played out in The Originals. The lesson this taught me was that for The Originals, it's family first
  • Witches, werewolves and vampires: I quite like supernatural stuff, as you can probably tell from this post! 
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  • Backstories: I liked how they are included in the episodes and how everything linked together. 
What I didn't like so much:
  • I remember during the first series and for the first few episodes of the second, it took quite a while for me to get into the episodes. Often I'd leave quite a big gap in between episodes. This changed as the second series continued. 
  • There were times where I couldn't help but think 'come on already' - but I feel this was about many things. I have commitment issues!
  • Linking to the point above, things could have moved much faster and been over a lot quicker in some of the episodes!
This series is available on Netflix!

Have you watched The Originals? Apparently it's a spin off series from the Vampire Diaries but I've not watched this series! What are your thoughts? What have you been watching?

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