Friday, 31 May 2013

Street Harassment.

I'm not entirely sure what makes certain men believe it is okay to address me from their cars as I walk past because they like the way I look without any regard for how I may feel afterwards. The excuse is often that I should feel flattered I had someone embarrass me in public by shouting "Alright, love!" out of the car window and that it should boost my body confidence. It didn't.

What I felt was self-conscious at first, because I'd been rudely alerted to the fact someone was objectifying my body in a purely sexual way. And then I felt angry, a little upset even, that I didn't have any control over that. I was wearing shorts because it was hot and that's what I felt comfortable in but after that incident I wanted to hide my legs away unless some other man was to call at me from inside his car in front of my own mother and make me feel very embarrassed.

He wouldn't have said anything to me if he'd walked past, he may have looked but he wouldn't have made me feel uncomfortable about it. That's because in the safety of his own vehicle he feels he can shout across at a stranger if he fancies them without them turning round and telling him exactly where to stick his implications.

It wasn't out of politeness that he addressed me, or common courtesy, it was because he believed he had this right by fancying me to call at me. And what upset me was that I couldn't do anything about it, although it was a short moment of my life I couldn't tell him that he didn't have a chance in hell if he shouted out to random women like that.

I am now wishing I could go back and tell him exactly what I thought of him and why next time don't shout out to people you don't know in the vain hope that they'll want anything to do with you.

Just don't be involved with any kind of street harassment because it's really quite disrespectful. It's as simple as that.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Dear dad,

I so strongly believe that behind every powerful, confident and independent woman there is a great father who is one of the most significant figures to have made her that way. I have one of those fathers, and this is for him.

When I was a baby, a tiny baby, and you used to lie on the sofa with me curled up so small on your chest I think we secretly agreed the start of a very long and very brilliant friendship. I don't remember this, of course, but I think I know that's when it began.

You are the safest place in the entire world for me. You are so giant and steady that when I hug you it's like being embraced by a very friendly mountain, or something equally as tall. Cuddling you or 'cuggling' as I formerly knew it is so peaceful and so safe that I could be anywhere in the world and feel at home when you're there.

I also know that wherever I am, and wherever you are, if anything should happen to me you'd be there in a moment with your blue flashing lights to save me. I completely have faith in that, I know you will never ever let me down with it. It means that wherever I go I have an escape route, you'll always be there to rescue me. Thank you for that. It's such a wonderful thing to have.

Some of my most cherished memories have been when you and I have gone in the car to go nowhere and anywhere pumping our music out loud and driving a lot faster than you really should. I also remember you sitting Hannah and I in the playroom with the lights off and playing Pink Floyd in the dark and we all just sat there not speaking just listening to the music and feeling very calm. We were quite young but your passion for the music was so obvious we understood the importance of the moment. I love that passion, I love that because of you I also have it. Again, thank you.

You are so wise and so intelligent and I am just in absolute awe of you. I can tell you anything and everything that I know, that scares me, that I love, that angers me, that upsets me because you are always, always there to listen. Our conversations are one of the things I enjoy the most, they're so full and interesting and passionate and long and sometimes I believe we could talk forever and ever. I feel privileged I can talk to you like that, that you give me your time so generously because that's the thing so many other people genuinely look up to you and I get to know what you think on whatever and whenever I want.

You're so cool, and I really believe that. Not many children can say that their fathers are cool. I think of you as a best friend, as a mate. I know you don't even try to be but just naturally we are good companions.

But the most important thing about you and the one that has absolutely made me as confident as I am is that you completely and utterly believe in me. You have seen me as your equal ever since I could form my own thoughts about the world. You have seen me as a female and as your daughter and you have taught me that we are not superior or inferior to each other. I can be as intelligent as you or as creative or as passionate or as thoughtful in whatever I choose because as a human being I have just the same potential as you or any other. You have never laughed in my face or judged something I do and that has given me so, so much. You have supported me through everything I have ever done. I know now that whatever I do in the future it will not affect your love for me or your belief in me or your trust in me. I can be whomever I want and I can do whatever I choose and you have given me that power. I would not have that if you had not been there as my dad. I am so grateful for the confidence in myself and in what I do that has developed from you as my parent. As my father.

Oh, I am so glad I am my daddy's little girl because without that I would not be being who I am. I am me because of him, I know that completely.

So, happy birthday my brilliant dad.

I love you so extraordinarily, please always know that.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Let it end.

The incident in London this week is something that will be discussed widely and passionately for weeks to come, and with more knowledge and understanding than I so far possess so I will keep this short.

A soldier was killed in Woolwich by two other men who appear to be Islamic extremists/terrorists. It was a brutal, violent and bloody attack that I think most of us are quite disgusted by. I can't, and don't want to, imagine how it must have looked to witnesses, how terrifying and unusual. How sickening. I believe that the argument these two men are using for their vile act of hatred is it was some sort of "eye for an eye" payback for the British troops in Muslim countries.

This violence is unfathomable, its purpose unjustifiable, and I will never understand it. I will live in a perpetual state of confusion at acts like this, because I do not comprehend why. It is upsetting and frightening and we can do nothing except sell newspapers that mostly propose racist theories for the outcome and reason for this event.

Oh, please let it end. Let this awful violence and hatred end.

Friday, 10 May 2013

When I'm gone.

I have come to my own conclusion that once you have died, that is it. There is no heaven nor hell, no paradise, no waiting in purgatory, no becoming a ghost, no nothing. You lose all consciousness, your mind has finally stopped thinking. You are gone. And I wish I could say there was a place for your soul, that the person inside of you can never die, but I don't see any other way they can exist. Where would they go? The amount of dead people to live ones is much higher, and will continue to rise. Where does every single soul of every living person ever to walk on Earth disappear to?

Truthfully, this view of death I have recently formed absolutely terrifies me. As I'm sure it does the majority of the human population. I cannot, and will not, ever be able to imagine what it is like to not be anything anymore. I will always be me, thinking in my head, being conscious. I don't want myself to cease existence, I want to always be aware of the world. But something in me believes, knows, that one day I will not be.

I think it is why I have this desire for people to know who I am, what I think, what I mean because the only way I can ever picture an afterlife is through memory. And even that  too will run out eventually. My name will not exist forever, which is why I feel I have to have people know me. I want to be remembered because that is afterlife. The imprint your soul leaves on the Earth for a while after you have gone.

I often wish I could believe, like I did when I was young, that there is a place in the clouds where you go when you are dead to be with all the loved ones that left before you. The place where everything you ever wanted and ever loved is, and you are completely content. That is what I used to imagine. I used to imagine meeting my great grandmother, whom my mother speaks of so fondly, because she seemed ever so magnificent and my heaven would be to live peacefully forever with my family.

I suppose, however, I have created the afterlife for my great-grandma with my name. I was named after her, and somehow I feel that means I have been given her soul to look after. Even though she may not ever be aware of me I can keep her memory for longer, we will have our afterlife in tandem. When I die I will not only bear the last impression of my soul but of hers as well. I hope.

I am not entirely sure that spirits of people do really go away. That sometimes wisps of souls turn up from nowhere and pass through you. When I was younger I was certain that I'd felt Mollie's presence in the room, and it was beautifully powerful. I will live with the hope that someday after I've gone someone feels my presence with them, just for a moment. As a breath of my past mixes with the present in this long line of time.

Someday that will comfort me completely, and I will be okay with losing myself for eternity and having my conscious end. For the moment, however, I believe I am still uncertain. Sometimes I feel okay with dying, and others I feel frightened even if it's most likely in the very, very far future.

Enough of death for now, for living is the only thing we can do and soon it will run out.

Friday, 3 May 2013

A memory.

I went to my first ever concert last night. It was bloody well fantastic. I saw The Vaccines. They were pretty damn cool. And I couldn't help but stop to think amidst the brilliant, buzzing atmosphere and say to myself "You are an incredibly lucky person, Mollie, you are alive and unbelievably happy. What more can you ask for?"

And I couldn't think of anything more I could want at that moment. All I really knew was that my life is going pretty swell. I've had my fair share of undesirable times, but it's these moments that I will remember and cherish most ardently.

I was standing close to the stage, but not in the mosh pit. I was wearing a poofy dress and a dog-tooth blazer and had stolen my mum's 90s heels, I had at least four layers of red lipstick on and I looked deadly cool. The noise of the band was so loud I could feel the drum beat pounding in my chest, as if it were replacing my heart with a different rhythm. The guitar - excellent. The singer - inexplicably attractive.  I only knew three songs of theirs, but did that matter? No. I still waved my hands in the air and shook my head about like I just didn't care. When I did know a song I screamed, made an excited gesture to my friend and half-danced to the beat. And shouted/badly sang the chorus.

I was absolutely in a place where nothing on Earth could bring me down from. One of my best friends was beside me, brilliant music was being brilliantly performed and I felt very, very alive. The crowd were singing along, I could see the standing area transformed into a sea of waving arms and bobbing heads. The people around me were dancing crazily and so I too, without any shame, danced crazily until blisters formed on my feet in some of the most uncomfortable shoes. I was blissfully content to continue bouncing up and down and shaking my head like a madwoman despite my aching feet, sweating and lack of breath or fitness. That was all part of the fun.

And when the band left the stage, and I waved goodbye to the guitarist who couldn't see me, and I couldn't hear myself speak anymore, and I was out of breath, and I had the widest smile and all I could say was "OH MY GOD".... I thought, that was a pretty damn good night. I had a good time.