Part I – Pillock

She is like the music she’s dancing to. Soft and elegant yet moving something deep within her – igniting something primitive in me. No, not like that, you perv. I just mean that I really, really like her but there’s nothing I can do about it. I watch her all the time, not in a creepy way (at least I hope it’s not creepy), I just like to look at her, the way she moves and smiles, the way she makes huge gestures with her hands when explaining the simplest thing and misuses the word ‘literally’. I just love everything about her.

I didn’t know she was going to be here tonight, I didn’t think she even knew Stephen but here she is, at his party. She’s at my best mate’s party, and she knows who I am, that’s got to count for something, right? 

Who am I kidding? She’d never go for me, she would want someone tall and muscular and…manly. She would want a man. I can’t be that.

There she goes again, hands in the air, waving about while her seemingly soft lips part and meet again, allowing the sounds of her mind to pour out.

I can see that glint in her eyes, she likes him. He leans in to her, getting closer, she looks up at him, drink in one hand, the back of his neck in the other. They kiss. They’re still kissing. They’re not stopping. I can’t watch this. I need to leave. Why do I always do this to myself?

So I curl up in my bed and stare at the wall, like an utter pillock. Knowing that I’m going to repeat this cycle again, of falling for a straight girl, having to watch her with some guy and deal with only ever being her friend. Maybe not even that, but never anything more.

Skin

Lethargy begets more lethargy,

I’ve been told a thousand times

And though I know this, I can’t help but feel this is all

I want to do.

This skull, the constant domed prison, with my mind stretched to the bone.

This skin, its ever changing hue, marketed as security, stretched over me.

This bed, the comfort of the four corners, with striped canvases stretched across me.

It’s all I want to do.

This room, the confines of the four walls, with faces stretched around me.

It’s all I want to do.

Want is a funny word for it

In all honesty, I don’t want at all

But it’s all I can bear to do.

This house, the rooms devoid of life, with myself etched into its every corner, stretched over what used to be.

Bloom

I was always a daddy’s girl.
Sitting on your shoulders
I was a princess
Ruling, under you
A sea of faces smiling
Up at the electric sky
And I was so excited
After all,
The sky was on fire.

I was always a daddy’s girl.
One day I grew up,
There were things you couldn’t protect
Me from, heartbreak
And bad decisions.
You were fading
While I was blooming
But neither of us noticed that
To each other, we were timeless.

On Being Friends With Your Exes

So, I like to think I’m a bit of an expert on how to deal with being friends with your ex, because when I broke up with the first person I’d ever been in a long-term relationship with, I then had to go to school with them for a further 3 years or so…yeah. Sure it was painful at first, especially because they moved on before I did but it got easier and we were civil, but still, we didn’t really speak for three entire years.
Truth is, I’m not an expert at all – I merely remained civil with these people, there’s only one ex that I truly remained friends with and even we don’t really talk.

I attended my ‘graduation’ ceremony yesterday (in quotation marks because I am yet to sit the exams which decide whether or not I really graduate), so it’s safe to say that this would be the last time I ever saw that particular ex again and I felt really fuckin’ weird about it because apart from the occasional smile or hello in the corridor and common room, we had not had a conversation in three years.

It wasn’t until about midnight that I decided I should probably say something, even if only for old times sake, I mean we were best friends before we ruined that friendship so I just didn’t want to leave on a bad note, you know? So I messaged her. I very simply stated that I didn’t want to go our separate ways without knowing that we were okay, and she said that we were indeed okay.

Now you’re expecting me to tell you that this simple exchange made it better and all my feelings of awkwardness have gone away.
They have not. The same goes for my other previous partners, I can have as many conversations as I like, all positive with no tension but for me at least, the feeling of unfinished business or unspoken words never goes away. It seems to me like I never got closure on any of my past relationships and it’s an awful feeling.

So here’s my advice to you: let go of your reservations, the sooner the better. If someone hurt you, you should fucking scream at them and tell them how you feel before three years pass and it’s too late otherwise it makes you seem like a crazy person who can’t let go.
If you feel like you need to apologize or explain yourself to someone, then do it.

For the love of all that is good, do it or you will be holding on to those feelings for a stupidly long time. I still have someone that I feel like I need to apologize to and I still have someone that I feel owes me an apology; I also know that it’s never going to happen because we’ve all supposedly moved on, and that makes me feel lost and trapped and not very good at all.
Please avoid feeling like me and just say what you need to say before it’s too late (and try not to date anyone you go to school with, maybe).

A Skinny Girl, About Skinny Girls

As a girl who can fit into a UK size 6 (US 2, EU 34) pair of skinny jeans without too much of a problem, I have had to put up with a lot of hating myself.

No no, don’t just click away now. Yes, it’s possible for someone with the body that so many women apparently crave to not really like it.
I have had to read countless articles and see and hear endless comments from people, even my own friends, about how “skinny girls aren’t real women”.
In a society where ‘skinny’ has been the main goal for such a long time, you would expect that someone like me would be perfectly happy with their body because well, they’re skinny.
The thing is, I’m not happy with my body, and I can almost guarantee that there are plenty of other skinny girls out there who feel the same.

Of course, the aim is skinny and tall, I am merely 5 ft 1 but that doesn’t stop my friends from telling me to stop complaining about myself when we’re out shopping because ‘you’re so skinny! What do you have to complain about?’.
Well, while we may have model-thin legs and protruding collar bones, we don’t tend to have the curves that are oh so important. Being skinny is not the be all and end all, and of course, being curvy isn’t either.
It appears that to be a ‘real woman’ you have to be thin, have curves and be muscular enough to fill the ‘too-thin’ parts out a little. This is our idea of perfection. It simply doesn’t exist.
I am not allowed to be openly self conscious because “I have legs that other girls would kill for” or because “I have a perfect figure”. I assure you, I do not, but that is besides the point.

I’m not entirely sure what the aim of this is, maybe I was angry when I started writing it, maybe I wrote it to enlighten some of you or maybe it’s a plea – for all the girls who can’t help being skinny to finally be allowed to complain about themselves the same way everyone else does without being ridiculed for having what others don’t.
Perhaps we all should stop complaining. As a skinny girl, I can tell you, skinny wont make you happy – especially now that skinny means you’re not worthy of the word ‘woman’.

I would like to reiterate that I’m not bashing women who are not skinny here, I’m bashing this ridiculous idea that weight and body shape is a trend that should be followed.
Approval and self worth should not come from your weight or how you look in a tight shirt or whether or not you look like you’re wearing a blanket instead of a jumper. It seems that meritocracy is dead, and that people are only worth their physical measurements.

Your curves or my collar bones do not make one of us superior.
I am a skinny girl. I am a real woman.

PS: Sorry for not posting for so long, education took a priority

Migrant Children in the UK – Are We Doing Enough?

I spoke to my sister, Fatos, who was a migrant child when she moved to London in 1996, about her experiences with moving to the UK’s capital and whether or not she feels that the education system did enough to help with her future.

Fatos moved to England with her mother and step-father (my father) when she was only twelve years old but she considers this to be quite a late age to move to another country as a child. She tells us that she came to the UK ‘not knowing a word of English’ and that it took her nine years to be able to speak English fluently. Although this may be down to the lack of support she received from her North London school when she first started in year seven, she blames herself, claiming that she is a ‘slow learner’.

Didn’t you know any English at all when you moved to the UK?

“No, I only knew how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ ” she giggles, “it was really tough and scary for me, I had no idea what was going on half the time.”

Was there a huge culture shock when you moved? London is a lot more dangerous than Cyprus and a lot busier too.

“Yes, definitely.” she laughs “My mum was really worried about me as well. Just when I had gotten used to it, I was doing my modern apprenticeship after college, I got mugged right in front of my home. I was only upset because all my stuff was gone though, by then I considered myself to be a British citizen just like everyone else.”

Was it difficult to get used to the lack of freedom you have in London as opposed to the freedom you have in Cyprus?

“Yes. You wouldn’t think that that would be true, everyone says the UK and America, western countries in general are the places where people have the most freedom but that’s only legally. Socially, it’s completely different. London is so dangerous” Fatos shakes her head “You can’t walk down the street without being scared that you were going to get hurt, and of course if you were like me and you couldn’t speak English very well and couldn’t make friends then it was worse.”

So do you think the language barriers stopped you from maturing as a person because you couldn’t go through the same experiences as your peers?

“Absolutely; I was always waiting for people to come and talk to me.” She sighs regretfully, “It never occurred to me to make the effort to talk to someone. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in me, or if we would have anything in common. Everyone seemed like they came from another world. At least now I can say that I’m a lot more open and independent, I socialize a lot more than I used to, I’m not stuck as the little girl that I was.”

Do you think it would have been easier for you if you had moved to the UK at an earlier age?

“It probably would have been much easier. I would have had more time to learn the language before I started my GCSEs which I’m still unhappy about because my grades were terrible.” She admits, “I always say that the teenage years are the pain of growing up. They’re the worst and with my situation, I hated every day of them.”

Do you think that moving here so late affected your social life and your ability to make friends?

“Yes. It did, I was already shy and bad at making new friends, moving here made it three times worse, especially because teenagers always think they know everything, so like all teenagers I had problems with my parents, too.” She explains,  “My mum and I had a huge communication problem for a few years, we would barely speak because we would always end up arguing but at the end of the day she was the only one I had who I could trust and go to for help.”

Did moving here bring you and your mum closer?

“In a certain way, yes, it did. We had problems along the way, during the ‘settling period’ but in the end we found comfort in each other and now we tell each other everything and we’re a lot more open with each other.”

So you’ve become more confident in your relationship.

“Definitely, I used to be a bit scared of her and what her reaction would be to things that I’d done wrong but I can face her now.” She laughs, “And because of that I think I’ve become stronger as an individual and that I can face any problems I have.”

How did your lack of English skills affect you in school?

“Well when I started school, just after October half term of year seven, my teachers had put me in a class with six other girls who came from Turkey, they didn’t like me because I was Cypriot but they were the only ones who knew what I was saying. I was getting bullied by them quite a bit, they were telling me to do things and I didn’t know they were wrong because I didn’t know the rules so they would get me into trouble. They would make me cry every day.”

That must have been horrible, especially with you being at such an awkward age.

“Yes” she nods, “You’re going through so many changes already and to have to deal with getting used to a completely new culture and language on top of being pushed around was really difficult.”

Wasn’t there any way that you could explain what these girls were doing to you?

“Unfortunately there were no teachers in the school who spoke Turkish and my English was very limited. I was also a very shy child and I’ve always found it difficult to make friends. I had to stick with those girls because I didn’t know my way around and I couldn’t read the signs to make sure I wouldn’t get lost.”

While you were in school did you receive any support with your studies?

“Not my studies, no, but they did try to help me learn English. They gave me all these books that would make you translate things like ‘What is chicken in Turkish?’ and ‘what is [Turkish word for cup] in English?’ and so on.”

And did those actually help?

“To a certain extent, yes it helped. It only lasted from year seven to about year nine; I wish they’d continued with it throughout my education because I didn’t know what the questions in my GCSE papers actually said.”

Do you think that children who are currently in your past situation receive any support from their schools?

“I don’t know if they are, but they should be. I think the government needs to offer a course to migrant children because it’s not their fault that they have had to move here and I should know, it is very difficult to try and learn a new language and complete your education in that language. The government seems to leave migrant children to their own devices and expects them to learn the language with almost no help.”

So you think that the government needs to start taking responsibility for these children.

“Not just the government. They obviously can’t fix a problem which they don’t know exists; I think it’s up to the parents to push for improvement too. If you tell someone that your child is struggling then I am sure that they will help.”