I blog for Change…

As I attempt to orient the windy and often treacherous roads that encapsulate life, here are some of my thoughts on the successes, failures and ultimately the hope and positivity in which I strive for a better world. I also hope that I can use this blog as a platform to elevate the social justice issues that are somewhat forgotten in the modern discourse of staying silent on issues that challenge. Sx


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Reproductive Rights and the lack thereof..

The recent executive order signed by the incoming US President relating to practices around abortion presents that of an essential global gag order to any NGO worldwide receiving US funds and offering reproductive services. In a practical sense the order means that any NGO which offers abortion services, counselling as a result or advocates for amendments to do with the abortion law reform will be ineligible for US grant funding. Beyond this, it even applies to organisations which are offering these services with the use of their own funding, disqualifying them from any future US assistance.

The absurdity around this decision is twofold. The first being the cost in reality which will be paid in human lives, as women seek informal and dangerous solutions in order to determine the direction of their own existence. Global studies indicate that between 8-18% of maternal mortality occurs as a result of unsafe abortion practices. Added to the illogicality of this decision is the understanding that abortion is legal in the US and some of the countries in which US assistance is provided across the world. We therefore find an ad hoc executive order which sits outside both the legislation of the donor country and that of its recipient.

The most rage inducing part of this entire debacle is the idea that any man has the right and ability to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body. As if her decision making capacity diminishes so much so, that men halfway across the world feel the need to dictate the choices in which she lives her life. Apparently the idea of sexual and reproductive rights attributed to women worldwide is just that, a notion in which is not at all universal or all encompassing. Instead, it is dictated to us, as women, whereby our own health and future life direction is put in jeopardy by a group of suited, middle aged men who believe they have a say in our choice around reproduction.

Surely such a Draconian order has no place in the world in which we live today. We often speak of the United States as the world leader on all things democratic. It has long been heralded by its presence as a merit-based, equal society that theoretically attributes rights to all its citizens. However, somewhere down the line the US, and let’s face it, every other world player out there decided that provisions which should be billed as basic human rights are only attributed to those of the majority’s choosing. It appears that the right to reproductive healthcare is not one that can be unanimously provided to women. Instead the ability to decide on this will be endeavoured upon by men and only men. Oh the irony…

Sx

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Living with Anxiety.

I decided today to develop a post based on a deeply personal concept which has increasingly taken over my life and proved to be a never ending stumbling block to my pursuit of happiness within this existence. I amongst many others suffer from this notion which is as frustrating as it is at times utterly debilitating; that being anxiety. When I made the choice to write about this today, I did so in an attempt to explain how deeply this affects my day to day existence and what living with it is like. I certainly am not composing this piece to void myself of responsibility for my actions, but instead to admit that this is a part of my life which I struggle with every day but continue to fight against with every breath I take.

In trying to explain how anxiety affects my life and that of many others, it seems an almost impossible pursuit. However, I’d best describe it as an all encompassing fog that never seems to lift. As if as much as I try to evade it, I simply cannot avoid its mystifying pull. It’s that little voice in my head that tells me that all is not right and questions every decision I have ever made in addition to those that are ahead of me. I’ve often expressed the feeling as an impending sense of dread and doom which never seems to dissipate no matter how much I attempt to distract myself.

The sensation of being anxious seems to take its formation in a plain of consciousness which is too deep to consistently keep under check in the lived reality. I would liken the worrying sensation as feeling as if an object is being lowered onto my chest and slowly constricting my breathing. As I’ve gotten older the levels of my anxiety have seemed to increase to the point in which I cannot explain why I feel the way I do or what exactly it is that I am anxious about.

In the past I’ve been instructed about a whole gamut of different actions in order to keep all of this under check. This includes that of attempting to stop a thought pattern before it develops and avoiding the journey of going down that proverbial rabbit hole. However, this was just a band aid solution for me and the sensation that I so carelessly pushed down at that particular time would undoubtedly come up again later when I was even less prepared to deal with its existence.

What seems to work for me is identifying the thought, the anxious sensation and acknowledging its presence. By doing this, it seems to take some of the fear out of the sensation itself and helps me to rationally unpack why it is that I am feeling the way I am. By reminding myself of the core reasoning of these emotions I am somehow better able to root myself in reality and the things I am grateful for, ultimately pulling me out of that downward spiral.

In saying all of this, sometimes none of my efforts work. There are some days in which I am consumed by anxiety to the point where none of my coping mechanisms work. On those occasions, I attempt to remind myself that sometimes it’s okay if the only thing I do that day is to simply breathe, get through it and try again tomorrow.

Sx


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What it is to Feel..

I’m often taken by surprise in life when emotions which I thought I had long before been dealt with tend to raise their heads at the most inopportune of times. There’s no doubt that I have suffered heartbreak, on more occasions than I care to count. After each and every setback, I have felt the unyielding pressure to pick myself up and just move on. Almost as if society dictates this of every human being and that any form of staying present during that emotion is tantamount to stagnation. In this sense I think I’ve been guilty of not properly mourning my loss and dealing with the emotions in which I feel. I have either pushed them down completely, thinking this was the only way I could cope or looking back and denying the scope of how I felt. Why is it so hard to admit that yes, I loved that person and what we had was great at that time, then move on accordingly, instead of having to utterly erase all evidence of their existence?

I have also been guilty of not conveying the depth of my pain to those closest to me. I tend to play things off as having not meant that much to me in the first place in order to keep up the rouse and not upset my loved ones. I know I might look like I am dealing and that the said circumstance does not affect me however this couldn’t be further from the case. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am a sensitive soul and that nostalgia seems to be the go to order of the day. I tend to romanticise the ‘what ifs’ a little too much which I am well aware of. But I think most of the time people struggle to understand how deeply I feel and how difficult it is to let go sometimes.

The truth is at my core I am someone who feels literally.. everything. While this may sound utterly absurd it’s the best way I can describe it. I have come to understand that the only way to keep going without being debilitated by one sensation or another is to accept this fate and learn to deal with it. I can’t and won’t pretend anymore than I am unaffected because to be honest, this quality is what makes me quintessentially me and allows me the empathy in which I wield when forming personal connections.

So from here on out I am not going to apologise for feeling, or conveying my emotions. For surely it is better to go through life this way than numbing myself senseless in the name of a warped form of self-preservation and hiding my pain for the acceptance of wider society.

Sx


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To the wild man of my dreams.

I knew I recognised you when our paths first crossed because I have seen you in my dreams so many times before. I remember waking with a feeling of being intoxicated by your aura and the pull of your spirit which made me long to find you.

In truth, I am in awe of your strangeness, of your wildness and creativity and ability to be so freely you. You have reminded me that it is possible to ascribe to something other than the toxic and predominant form of misguided hyper masculinity which seems to pervade the beauty of all men.

I am mesmerised by your uniqueness and individuality, including your representation of a certain degree of gender fluidity which is intoxicatingly enchanting.

You have inspired a fire within me which to be honest, has been dormant for too long now. Somewhere down the line, I lost sight of the peculiarities within myself that make me, oh so me. I gave in to the mainstream norms and suppressed my individuality, my creative pursuits and my talent outside of what makes me money.

If I never sight you again, from this day forward I take your spirit with me. Moving along in my journey more inspired to follow my heart, nurture my creativity and live wild and free.

To the wild man of my dreams, you have awoken a fire in my soul.

Sx


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An open letter to 2017.

Dear 2017,

I composed a similar letter at the beginning of last year, however in that rendition I was looking back and paying gratitude to a timeframe which contributed to significant self growth. This time around I wanted to write this addressed to you as I look forward to the adventures that are yet to come.

As I embark upon this journey with you I pledge to take every step forward with purpose and intent . The gift that 2016 gave to me was to understand that my path is my own and instead of possessing a victim mentality in which I allow life to happen to me, I need to be more front-footed about my approach.

As we spend the next 347 or so days together, I will be open to challenges, new opportunities, new people and all encompassing love. I will not shy away from being free and wild in this existence as I explore all that is to be offered to me.

I pledge to further nurture my creativity and continue to colour outside of the lines. I intend for this whilst all the time understanding the delicate and fickle nature of human life, and taking every stride forward with a sense of gratitude but also immense fallibility.

I do however understand that there will be lows in which I won’t fathom when or where I lose my direction, or stray off course. But I give you my word that this will not alter the rest of my journey nor taint the future encounters we have together.

At the core of it all, I trust in you and what you have in store for me this year. I will remain resolute in my fervour for this life and continue to be intentional about the decisions I make.

To you 2017, with love and anticipation.

Sx