I don’t have nicknames yet people still try to make it a thing. I have books on my shelf begging to be read yet I still find myself buying more. I doodle often and somehow they all end up looking like I tried to copy a five year old’s finger painting. And failed. When I can’t sleep at night, I go over the following day’s schedule again and again, trying to smooth out wrinkles in my plans. I try to save greeting cards and and letters but I always end up losing them. Actually, I lose a lot of things. When I go into a place with people I know, the grandiosity of my entrance will depend on my energy levels. I don’t look at myself in the mirror that often, but I feel like it is too much. Not because it is a vain or self-absorbed thing to do, but because I feel so much more confident when I’m not constantly reminded of the flaws in my physical appearance. A guilty pleasure I enjoy way too much to give up is internet (not that I have a lot of it, my mobile data is close to non-existent and I have no wifi at home). I read the newspaper almost everyday, skipping most of it but getting really absorbed in articles about things like feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, racism and current politics. The sports section is something that is never even browsed through. I’d like to be less stubborn but that will probably never change. Let’s just pretend it’s a good quality for now.The scariest insect I’ve encountered is a crane fly. Why do you need that many legs? I’m mostly likely to engage confrontation. If I’m upset about something I won’t let it sit, I’d much rather talk about it than pretend it doesn’t bother me. I’m s creature of habit. The last time I pushed my physical limits was so long ago I can’t remember. I have a lot of acquaintances and few very close friends. I think about death a lot, not in a morbid way – more philosophically. It amazes me that turtles have yet to run for presidency yet Donald Trump is a serious candidate. I would prefer someone be straight up with me then to temper their words. I respect propel who are outspoken with their beliefs, as long as they don’t force it upon others. My perfect study arrangement is alone in my room. I sleep on my side. My favourite city is San Juan in Puerto Rico, however, I think many flaws would come to light if I lived there 24/7. Much like anywhere else. Ignorance is not bliss. I don’t think anything is unforgivable but I find it difficult to forgive. It’s even harder to forgive myself for past personal failures. I’m sure I have any convictions I’d be willing to die for. I think it’s extremely important to be honest with yourself. I am a messy person, both literally and figuratively.
When I was little, I wanted to be white.
That’s the colour the sweet, popular girl at school was. That’s the colour the beautiful, breath-taking supermodels on the billboards. And that was the colour all the characters in my favourite tv series were. Which role models looked like me? Beyoncé is now the third woman (behind Naomi Campbell & Halle Berry) to grace the cover of Vogue in the magazine’s 123 years of publication, and people are raving as if this is iconic. That’s not iconic. That’s ridiculous. The third in 123 years. But you say there is equality.
My mother moved from France to England because she didn’t believe she, a young black woman, could get a respectable teaching job where we were. My mum forced me to read English story books, meant for an age much younger than I was yet it was still extremely difficult. She made me read every single day and I hated every minute of it. I see know that she did this so I could speak English perfectly by the time it mattered, by the time people started to assume I was illiterate, uneducated and ignorant from the colour of my skin. And even though my mum spent hours teaching me the English I am able to speak so fluently now, due to her patience and encouragement, you can still tell English is her second language. She asks me how to say certain British expressions to fit in, She asks me to proofread emails for her, out of embarrassment that she feels her English isn’t sufficient enough to be taken seriously, it sickens me that while their mastery of the English language is more than proficient, it doesn’t matter, because the rest of the world doesn’t care. But you say there is equality.
I grew up, watching the world’s understanding of my cultural heritage being reduced to the “black best friend”, being portrayed as domestic help, sassy and thugs. I grew up being asked “but, where are you really from?” as a reply to when I told them I was born in France. I grew up, being told I had to be the servant when I played families with my white friends, when I held in me the fact that when slavery was finally abolished, slaves received no apology and the slave-owners often received a minimum of £50 per slave in compensation. The slave-owners received paid compensation. But you say there is equality.
I live in a country that when a well-known television presenter says the racist n-slur, on air, he keeps his job .I live in the 21st century, where the only understanding I can get about the story behind my heritage comes from my own parents, where the only times I can see people who look like me on screen and aren’t portrayed in a degrading, racially comic, stereotypical way is on YouTube. The caricatures on television teaches us that we are brash, aggressive deficient at English and poor. But you say there is equality.
Who would want to black? In the few instances coloured people made an appearance on my television, they were always the criminals, the delinquents, the poor or had a funny accent everyone could laugh at. Obviously no way someone who wasn’t white could be educated, wealthy or even just a generally good person.
But still, you love your jazz music, your fried chicken. Please, enjoy your holidays to the Caribbean, your corn rows and Morgan Freeman.
That one thing you did to me, that one time. Do you remember? I do. I don’t think I’ll forget about it soon. I didn’t tell you about it because I didn’t want to seem petty and childish. But, that one thing you did to me, that one time? I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, I never really let it go. When you tell a joke, I’ll laugh. If you compliment me, I’ll smile and thank you. It’s just, that one thing you did to me, that one time? It’s the only thing on my mind. Because, as it turns out, it wasn’t only that one thing, that one time. You’ve done so many little things, and they gnaw at me at night. I don’t tell you because I don’t get hurt. I’m not sensitive. I have a thick skin. Well I’m meant to anyway. And if, all of a sudden, that’s not true… Maybe you won’t like me anymore. So, that’s why. That’s why I never told you about that thing you did to me, that one time. Because it was just a joke, not to be taken seriously.
I prefer the sunset to the sunrise. I am not mentally or physically ill. The most expensive thing I ever bought was a kindle. I don’t have a job. I am still in school. I’m a 50% introvert, 50% extrovert, it depends on my energy levels. When I see my body, there are some things I wish I could change. A song that I feel deeply is ‘Sweet Disposition – The Temper Traps’. I felt most alive running from a group of scary, older teens, laughing out loud with my friends. I’m not confident wearing a bikini. I find it hard to look people in the eye so I try extra hard and overcompensate. Nothing extremely terrible has happened to me so far. Nothing extremely wonderful has happened to me so far. My favourite part of my personality is, even if I don’t succeed, I’ll always try to make people laugh. My least favourite part of my personality is that if I’m in a bad mood, I’ll take it out people who have nothing to do with the situation. My favourite quote (at the moment) is “that is the definition of faith – acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove.” I have relationships with all genders. I have relationships with all sexualities. I have a wobbly relationship with my father. I have a warm relationship with my mother. I don’t have siblings. My only near death experience has been tripping over two stairs. I don’t know anyone who has taken their own life. I’ve never tried to take my own life. I 50/50 follow the Mary Magdalene/Holy Grail conspiracy theory. I respect the UK government but not the way the country is run. Not all my friendships are healthy. I’m currently fighting with a friend. I’m jealous of a friend for her easy going attitude. I believe in the illuminati. I don’t believe any celebrities are associated with the illuminati. When I’m nervous I scratch my skin or bite my lips or pull my hair or pace. I make sure people can’t tell when I’m sad. I sometimes express my true feelings. There are things I’ve never told anyone. I’ve committed four illegal acts. At age 5, I wanted to be a chef. I am the product of a broken relationship. I am a bastard (in the most literal sense of the word). I have been raised by both parents. I have brown eyes, black hair and dark brown skin. I can speak French, English, some Spanish and am learning Chinese. I try not to conform to societies standards. I cry more often than people think. I tell people what I think. I am not comfortable recovering compliments. I am more comfortable giving compliments. I can’t see very well so I have to wear very strong glasses. I have been wearing braces for three months. I try to keep up with current events. The last thing I have heard on the news is the subject of the migrants trying to cross the euro tunnel into the UK and the response of the UK government saddens me. Today I visited my grandma in the countryside near Calais. I have not slept well recently. I have hurt someone because I was hurting before. I’ve ended friendships before because they’ve been detrimental to the both of us. Someone has stopped me from hurting myself before. I like my laugh. I am a preparing for an apocalypse, mostly likely from a virus. I am an agnostic. I like to watch true crime movies. I would like to raise a family in England. I believe in marriage. I can’t remember the nicest thing someone has ever said to me. I was never able to keep a diary. I think if I did, some people would be hurt by it. My favourite movies are The Ciderhouse Rules and 500 Days of Summer. I try to look after myself. I have a birthmark the shape of a Nike tick on my right ankle. I try to put others first. I was happy today. I think I am loved by my friends and family.
the prom queen is dead
couldn’t deal with it all so shot herself in the head
took her longer than you’d think to realise she hated her reflection in the mirror above the sink
turns out her high school lover should’ve been left behind instead of allowed to hover
and that little plastic crown? just as fake as her friends albeit cheaper than her gown
so just keep in mind the prom queen is dead and you’ve been left behind
Bored and restless as usual, I had nothing to do so I decided to go through my notes and came across a poem that I wrote a while ago. It kind of shocked me because I wasn’t writing from personal experience (although I did have a friend who had suffered from this) and I think I just had a late night, ‘think I’m deep moment’. Anyway, instead of letting it collect dust, I thought I’d share it with you. Here goes:
I’m going on a picnic
With my two best friends
Ana and Mia,
They’re kind of mother hens
Can’t leave the house,
Without them by my side,
Guess you could call us
Everyone else does.
Mum keeps telling me
That they’re a bad influence.
She could never understand
That they’re what keeps me going.
We’re going on a picnic
It’s a warm summers day,
I wasn’t sure what to bring
So I left it to Mia and Ana.
As we spread the checkered tablecloth
And sit down on the grass
Our knees so bony and fragile.
“What’s to eat”
And in unison they reply.
“We’re not hungry, are you?”
I think, nowadays, it’s so much easier to succumb to pressure – from your friends, family or even strangers. It’s also a lot more easily dismissed, even though I think everyone has a much better understanding of the issues around body image and such, as it’s becoming more common (due to increasing pressure) people will assume it’s for attention or not legitimate. I can’t really speak from personal experience but I can imagine how hard it would be to go through something like this without any support. To anyone out there who is having problems with this, please, please tell someone!