The Race

Dear Emma,

Picture me this. We – and when I say we I mean all of us students – have been running in a race for the past few years. Maybe two, three, four even. 

But for once, we’re actually nearing the finish line. This is the point where we can see the goal on the horizon.

However, this is also the point where the panic begins to set in. 

Because between us and our goals there are so many hurdles, higher than anything we’ve ever jumped before. But they are also hurdles that we knew were coming, and they are hurdles we have been running our whole lives to jump. 

And suddenly the regret kicks in, and our pace slows as we think about all those times we stopped running to take a break or enjoy the scenery. 

We think about those times we stopped training because those hurdles seemed so far away, and pangs of guilt hit us like hailstones. 

There were so many opportunities to make those hurdles seem easier to climb. We start to panic, overtraining, over exerting, missing those times when those looming obstacles could be pushed to the back of our mind.

Sadly, we can’t do that anymore.

(To be continued)

Love from,

Tara

XXX

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Worth Writing About

Dear Emma,

I’m going back to school tomorrow. Oh joy…

I’m actually feeling pretty apprehensive about the term to come, because at the end of it, I will have finished all of my incredibly important exams, which is both relieving and completely terrifying, because I’m not ready. 

Will I ever be ready? Probably not. Anyway, that’s besides the point.

As I have said, it was my birthday this week, and in the morning (along with many lovely messages from various people both in real life and from the internet) I got an email from Wattpad (side note: I don’t remember ever registering an account on there nor telling them my birth date, but anyway) wishing me happy birthday, and then it said, We hope that it’s a birthday worth writing about. 

Aside from the fact that it was obviously a shameless promo for you to write on their website, it actually made me think. Did I have a birthday worth writing about?

Forget that, do I have a life worth writing about? What does that even mean?

And then I thought, screw you, Wattpad. Everyone has a life worth writing about, and whether anyone else thinks so is completely irrelevant. Because everyone has a story to tell. And maybe not everyone in the universe will listen, but that shouldn’t make a difference. As long as the people that matter think your life is worth writing about, then it is.

Also, I’m sorry that Drag and Drop Stories failed completely this week. Me being an idiot picked a week where I was incredibly busy, had loads of revision to do and started our first huge group project. I will rectify that terrible mistake at some point.

Hope you are all having an amazing week, and good luck to you if you’re going back to school too 🙂 

Love from,

Tara

XXX

The Wonder Woman Tag

Dear Emma,

Now, you may have noticed that I don’t do as many tags/awards as I used to, and that is nothing to do with the person that nominated me, because I am really happy with and grateful for every nomination that I receive. I just don’t find them interesting, both for me to write and for you to read. I mean, there’s only so many seven facts about yourself that a person can do. So I normally only do tags when I really like the concept or it’s a really original idea.

Like this one! Smooth segway there, Tara.

As many of you know, today is National Women’s Day. I personally am all about the gender equality, not just feminism etc. but also the chance to choose your gender and identify yourself any way you want to, regardless of your biological sex. But I want to say something about that another time.

Today I am doing this tag, to celebrate, in a way.

img_20160308_163106

This tag is called The Wonder Woman Tag and I was nominated by the lovely Iridescence (I am so sorry if that’s not the name you normally use) but I quite like this tag (yanno, spreading positivity and all that).

The rules of the tag are:

  • Mention and link the person who tagged you.
  • Tag five female bloggers who inspire you and give a reason why.
  • Nominate the five mentioned female bloggers to do the tag!
  • Add the header image. (Already done, I’m such a pro.)

Although, me being me, I’m going to change it up a little bit. I am going to do five female bloggers, but I’m also going to do five females who inspire me in real life.

Five female bloggers:

Em – I definitely had to put you first, Em. I know that you have a lot going on in your life, but you’ve stayed so strong, and you aren’t afraid to admit that you need help sometimes. And, you don’t hesitate to help any of us if we need it too. You’re just amazing 🙂

Tash – Lately your blog has become something different to what it was before, and I really like it!  I think that’s because you’re letting more of your personality into your posts, which is awesome! 😀

3liittlebirds – I mean, this is kind of cheating because I know you in real life, so I really could have nominated you for both categories, but I’ll put you here. You definitely inspire me, in so many ways both on WordPress and off. Your blog has become soooo much more amazing than it was and every one of your posts makes me smile. But then you’re also an incredible friend when I don’t refer to you by this name, you’re always there for me (I know that now) and I love you :3

Wandering Girl – Okay, this is also kinda cheating. But you are also an inspiration, I know you have had a bunch of changes in your life and you’ve still kept smiling and I really like that about you 🙂

Reine – Your blog is amazing, and you have such a huge following now (proud, by the way) that I honestly don’t know how you did it. But you definitely deserve it!

 

Real-life females:

My mother: I am fully aware of the fact that it was Mother’s Day a few days ago, but that doesn’t really matter, because mothers can be celebrated every day of the week. Yes, we have our differences but she has literally been there from day one (God, friends, where have you been 😉 ) and I know that she always has my best interests at heart (even when I don’t admit it) and I really don’t know what I’d do without her.

Penguin: Now, what you have to figure out is did I actually want to put you in this list or am I putting you in this list because you’ve been asking me to blog about you for so long? 😉 I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Of course you’re on this list. You are an incredible friend, I definitely need your dry sense of humour to stop me from getting too cocky 😉 and no matter what you think of yourself, I definitely think you’re special and important and all of that, whatever happens. ❤

Dolphin: Again, you are an amaaaaaaaazing friend, and not because you are willing to trek around the school with me whenever I forget things 😉 You always help me to figure out what is wrong with my life, and whenever things do happen you’re always there to pick me back up again (not literally, I think you’d fall over 😉 ) but yes I love you and you hold a special place in my heart too ❤

Dodie Clark: These next two are not technically people from real-life, but they are. Dodie is my musical inspiration 24/7, her voice and her harmonies and her songwriting and her Youtube channel and her creative use of fairy lights and EVERYTHING ABOUT HER IS MY GOALS. She inspires me so much, and as cliché as it seems, I really want to grow up to be like her.

Joanne (J.K.) Rowling: Let’s just point out that I pretty much owe this woman my childhood. She was the first reason that I wanted to start writing, because she had created the most incredible fictional universe that you could literally live in, and inspired and touched so so so many people all over the world, which is what I want to do.

I owe all of these people a debt of gratitude, really, because they are all such an inspiration and they mean a lot to me 🙂

Anyway, that’s the end of the tag! I obviously nominate all the people that I tagged (hmm, I wonder if JK Rowling would do it if I asked her) and I hope you have fun with it!

Hope you had a fun Women’s Day!

Love from,
Tara

XXX

 

 

One Year of Letters to Emma

Dear Emma,

Guess what?! Well, you probably don’t have to guess anything because the title of this post, but it’s fun to say that anyway.

That’s right, it has been one whole year since I started this blog. If you want to see my first ever post, exactly 366 days ago (it’s a leap year), it’s here. But don’t look at it for too long. I have definitely gotten better at blogging since I started 😉

Can we just take a moment to appreciate that. ME. I did something for a whole year without giving up. I’m pretty sure that’s a first in my life. I’m so proud of me.

Anyway, I didn’t spend three hours recording and editing this video to say everything I’m going to say in the written introduction. Oh, I haven’t mentioned the video yet.

Yes, as inspired by Elm and L, I have recorded my voice (I am just going to apologise now for how terrible it sounds) instead of writing, because I think I can talk better than I write.

But for some reason my microphone settings were up really high so every time I say the letter “P” or “D” or “F” or anything that rhymes, your ears may be a tiny bit assaulted.

ANYWAY, before I have apologised so much that you are expecting this to be terrible, here you go! Enjoy 🙂

What did you think? I am actually terrified of this being uploaded, so I want to know all of your opinions. Do you want me to do more things like this in the future? Or would you like me to burn this and never do it again? Let me know!

About the singing thing, I’m still not sure but maybe I shall do something in the future 😉

Also when editing this I realised that I didn’t shout out half the people I wanted to, so Aspen, Em, Ambi, Alex and everyone else, I’m sorry I forgot you. You are all amazing and I love what you do 🙂

I’m sorry for the bullshit pretentious conclusions that I sometimes come to in this, and for repeating myself about 1000 times over. I had to edit so much out of this because I was talking for so long…oops…

Anyway, (ready for another cringey conclusion),

Again, thank you all so so much for an amazing year, and hopefully there will be a lot more to come 😀

Love from,
Tara

XXX

 

 

 

On The Day of Love

Dear Emma,

So as I’m sure you’re aware, today is Valentine’s Day. However you’ve spent your day (even if it was alone like me) I hope you’ve had a brilliant time 🙂

Actually, I wanted to say something about Valentine’s Day. Nowadays we dedicate it to spending time with the person we love most, showing them that we love them, and it’s generally just very coupley the whole time. Is coupley a word? Probably not.

Due to the fact that Valentines Day nowadays is so coupley, (it’s a new word, I’ve accepted it) many people don’t celebrate it, and actually resent it because they’re single and alone.

That really shouldn’t be the case. It’s the day of love, sure, but the word love has such a broad spectrum of meanings, and I think that people forget that.

As I’m sure some of you know, the Ancient Greeks had six words for love. Now that’s a good idea. There probably could be even more, but I thought I’d share them with you to show that you don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate the day of love.

Pragma – This means “longstanding love,” the kind of relationship that withstands the test of time. People experiencing pragma use patience and tolerance: they make compromises to make the relationship work for both people. Typically it refers to married couples, but it could just as easily be close friendships or family relationships. There’s a really nice quote from psychologist Erich Fromm:

“We spend too much energy on “falling in love” and need to learn more how to “stand in love.”

Storge – This means “family love,” the love you feel for your parents, siblings or extended family. They’re usually the people you know best, and (hopefully) they know what’s best for you.

Philia – This means “deep friendship,” The Greeks valued this kind of love a lot more than romantic love. It had originated from the love and comradeship that soldiers felt on the battlefield, but nowadays I assume that it’s between friends. 

Eros – This means “sexual desire or passion,” and it’s the kind of love that we normally associate Valentines with, a romantic relationship. Actually, this is regarded as the most dangerous kind of love among the Greeks, because when you feel Eros you lose control. Make of that what you will. 

Ludus – This means “playful love,” and today it’s known as flirting. It’s the stage before the relationship gets serious. But it also could mean having fun with friends, which has apparently been rebranded banter. The Greeks always thought there should be some ludus in relationships. 

Agape – I think I like this one most of all. Agape means “love for everyone” or “love for humanity”. It’s a love that you extend to all people, whether you know them or not. It’s the feeling of empathy, that makes you have a connection with people you don’t know, because we are all sharing the human experience. 

I guess what I’m saying is that remember that love isn’t all about the Eros. Today you could be Storge’ing with your family, having great Ludus with your friends, or just reading the stories in this community and feeling some Agape for the world. 

Hope you had a good day of love, whatever kind it was ❤

Agape from,

XXX

 

 

 

 

Inadequacy and My New Year’s Blogging Goals!

Dear Emma,

Lately I’ve been feeling dissatisfied with my blog, and… Oh I’m just going to say it, a little jealous of all the amazing incredible people that occupy this community.

You are all fantastic, and your blogs are too, and I’ve just been feeling a little bit inadequate. What is it that I’m doing wrong?

Sometimes I feel like I’m not original enough, or creative enough, especially compared to all of you, and you deserve all the success you’re getting. I just wish I had that too.

But I didn’t write this post to throw myself a pity party: that happened on Saturday, and I’d like to thank Elm and my friends Penguin and Llama for making me feel better about myself.

No, I’m writing this post because I’ve decided something. It’s New Year’s Eve, and although I don’t normally believe in all this “new year, new me” stuff, this year I’m going to make an effort to improve my blog.

Because there’s literally no point sitting around feeling sorry for myself when I have the opportunity to change it.

So along with my real-life New Year’s resolutions, I’m making some blogging ones too, and I know this sounds incredibly selfish, but I’ve set a goal of 250 followers by the end of 2016. If I reached that I think I would explode from happiness.

I’m going to share my blogging goals on here because I want you all to know that I’m going to try to make it better, but also so you can nag me if I don’t stick to them!

  1. Drop my schedule. Now don’t panic, this doesn’t mean I won’t be posting as often. In fact, it means the exact opposite. I’ve come to realise that, a lot of the time, when I think of an idea for a blog post I usually dismiss it because it’s not Sunday, and then sometimes that leads to me posting random things because I’ve forgotten what I want. So from now on I’ll be posting every Thursday and Sunday, but also whenever I feel I want to. And my posts will all be in the evening, like they normally are.
  2. Make an effort to connect with the community. This is a big one, because I don’t feel like I follow enough blogs or read and comment on the blogs I do follow. So if you follow me and you think I should be following you (which I probably should) leave a link to your blog in the comments. And I want to help out people who are new to the community, because I am so grateful to everyone who helped me.
  3. Reply to every comment on my blog. I don’t get comments that often, but sometimes I just forget to reply, which I know is terrible. So from now on I’m going to reply to every comment on my blog.
  4. Try to do different kinds of posts. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, posts like favourites, advice, Q&As, and anything else you suggest, along with my normal posts and my creative writing. What do you think?
  5. Do EVERY award I get nominated for. I’m going to make a list whenever I get nominated so I don’t forget.
  6. Be more inspirational. I don’t feel like I’m giving my readers anything from reading my posts, so from now on I’m attempting to inspire and improve your lives, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

So these are my goals for 2016, and I really want to achieve them all, because I feel like I can.

Hope you have a Happy New Year! 🙂

Love from,

XXX

 

 

 

 

The Three-Day Quote Challenge: Day 2

Dear Emma,

I did have another quote and another post planned, but in light of recent events there was absolutely no way I could remain in the light-hearted superficial mood that I am normally in.

  

I would hope that most of you are aware of what happened on Friday, especially because I’m not going to go into the details. I’m just going to talk about how I feel, my honest opinions. 

I’ve liked the posts on Facebook, I’ve changed my picture to have the colours of the French flag, but it really didn’t feel like enough. I had to speak about it in the best way I knew how: here, talking to you. 

I was actually told by someone not to post this on here, and that did make me angry. What’s this blog for except sharing opinions, even if they are a bit “controversial”? 

I actually can’t find the words right now. This has shook the world, because in so many countries- not just France, I do acknowledge that- there was cold and there was calculated murder. There was murder without rhyme or reason of innocent civilians, innocents. That’s what gets me. It wasn’t a plan to destroy a building of significance or usefulness. Murder for the sake of murder.

Those poor people had done absolutely nothing, except be terribly unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And now they’ve lost friends, loved ones, or they’re terribly injured and clinging to life in a generic ward in a French hospital. 

Or worse, they’ve become a statistic. Tragedies like this are emphasised when people become statistics. It makes it seem less real when they’re just numbers, not people with families and lives. Apparently it makes it harder for people to empathise. 

And some of the people in this country have the nerve to blame the refugees and the innocent Muslims. There is an awful lot of prejudice in this country and this world. Blaming the refugees, of all people. I saw a post on Facebook that said something along the lines of, “Don’t you realise that these are the people the refugees are running away from?” Couldn’t have said it better myself. 

And the “All Muslims are terrorists” stereotype has to stop. I don’t understand how people can just generalise an entire group of people based on a handful of people who happen to share the same characteristic.

I am proud of the solidarity the world as a whole has shown against these people, but there is an undercurrent of prejudice and discrimination that can’t help to shed some light even in the darkest of times.

I will be praying for Paris and for the rest of the world tonight.

Love from,

XXX

Luck and Horoscopes

Dear Emma,

So this week I’ve been around a lot of horoscopes. Not sure why, but for some reason my mother has been discussing horoscopes with me, as have my friends.

I’m on the fence about horoscopes. The idea that just because you were born at a specific time of the year you immediately fit a set of pre-moulded characteristics is a little unrealistic, and I’m not really a fan. 

Although I do like the idea of a celestial being in the sky that helps me make my life decisions.

I mean, it can be fun to look at horoscopes every once in a while and laugh about what they say about your personality or future goals, but people who obsess over horoscopes and over-analyse them to the point of worshipping them like a Bible are, in my opinion, putting all their faith down to something as inconsistent as whether Venus is in the third house or not. It’s not exactly set in stone.

I understand why people like horoscopes: when I read mine there are many things that make me go, “I’m completely like that! It knows!” But that’s probably because the people who have written the horoscopes have included something that everyone can relate to. It’s not a set of rules.

Although I don’t believe in horoscopes, I do believe in luck. Ironic, huh? Whenever something happens that I think is out of my control, I think, “Damn, that was bad luck.” Or “That was amazing I have such good luck!”

I guess that does make me a bit hypocritical. But we humans do like to find ways to comprehend the world in, and ways to understand and, in a way, control the uncontrollable are always useful.  

Luck is mine. Other people use horoscopes, or karma, or even religion, and that’s good too. 

Love from,

XXX

P.S. This isn’t the most perfect post in the world, but I did write it on a train, so hopefully you can excuse me.

Letter to My Future Self and An Absent Letter from a Past Self

Dear Emma,

So for the past month or so – this post is a little bit later than I was planning it to be, but better late than never – I’ve been seeing everyone who is a part of the Teens Tell Their Story project writing letters to their future and past selves, and even though I was never a part of this project, I thought, Hey! That looks like a fun idea. I could make a post out of that. 

Funny story: When I was around 13 I came across a website called www.futureme.org and thought, Hey! That looks like a fun idea. I could write a letter to myself. So I properly went and wrote an essay to myself, probably full of emotion and all that, and then I scheduled it to be delivered to myself by email two years from that date.

So, the date that I scheduled it to be delivered on was about two weeks ago, and it didn’t turn up, which made me very sad. That letter is now lost forever, so who knows what I said. 13 year old me was a weird time.

Funnily enough, on that same night I accidentally called 999, but that’s another story.

—————————————————————————————

I realise that I’ve been rambling on for 200 words and I haven’t started writing a letter yet. Well done me. Okay, let’s go!

—————————————————————————————

Dear Me,

I don’t know what year it is when you’re reading this, but I’m assuming that it’s quite far away from now, 2015. Even 2015 is about to become the past, it’s November 1st and there are only two months left until the new year, which is both exciting and absolutely terrifying. I’m definitely not ready for 2016.

Just to set the scene, at the moment I’m listening to Right Here, Right Now from High School Musical 3, which has put me in a weird nostalgic mood. Can you remember the last time you watched High School Musical? If not, eleven-year old you is probably crying in a corner. Go and watch it right now! Hopefully you still remember all the words. I just discovered that I still do.

I hope you’re having a nice life. I’m assuming that you’ve finished university – oh God, I can’t even think about uni right now, I’m so undecided on my A-levels I don’t know how I’m going to make that decision –   and you chose a course that you’re happy with and you feel comfortable in, not one chosen for or by our parents or anyone else. 

There are two ideal versions of what job I want you to be doing:

1. Something that pays decently enough that you can enjoy life, but also a job that you enjoy doing.

2. You’re rich and famous because of something you love, like writing or singing and you can really enjoy life but make a difference to other people’s lives. Not gonna lie, I’m hoping for the second one.

Even if you aren’t rich and famous, I want you to be in a great career that doesn’t stress you out too much and that you enjoy. If not, remember it’s never too late to change.

I hosp you’re keeping in touch with all of your school friends. If not, go ring them right now. All of them. I’m ashamed of you for not keeping up your friendships. We have some incredible memories together, and I’m sure we’ll create some epic ones in years to come.

Right now, I’ll tell you a few of the things I’m worried about. My mocks are rapidly approaching, I’m worried that I don’t have any deep meaningful friendships, I’m terrified that people are judging me and getting the wrong impression of me, it’s going to be 2016 and then I have to pick my A-levels and then it’s my GCSEs and then after that, the thought of prom and leaving school is lurking in the back of my brain.

I hope that now these things seem silly and insignificant. I really do. I’m sure you’re worrying about much more important things. I’m really looking forward to it.

Hopefully you can still understand sarcasm.

I’m wondering how you’re going to come across this letter. I hope that one day you just remember the little blog you had as a teenager and rush to find it and go through all the posts. Then you really can remember what it was like to be a teenager, what it was like to be me, because you’ll have a week-by-week account. 

I guess the main reason why I’m writing you this letter is because I don’t want you to forget. I don’t want you to forget little teenage you who wants to be a writer and a singer and a Youtuber and has all these amazing crazy dreams and plans for the future before they’ve been crushed by the harsh realities of the real world.

I want you to remember that at one point the next Disney movie to come out was the most exciting thing ever, and your favourite colour was red and you loved lions and you wrote stories and songs and had pink fairy lights up in your room and listened to music and contemplated life. 

Right now I want do something meaningful with my life, and more importantly, something that means something to other people.

I don’t want you to forget this part of you, aka me, because if you let me down, you know you’re letting yourself down. You’re not giving up on our dreams, because I’m not letting you.

I could probably ramble on forever and I’m nearly in tears, but I’m going to stop now, so I guess my final words are be happy, never doubt yourself and your abilities, don’t regret anything, do all the things you love and then life will be great. 

Don’t give up, okay. I believe in you.

Lots of love,

15-year old you

—————————————————————————————

Love from,

XXX

Perspective

Dear Emma,

Perspective is a funny thing. Everyone’s got their own opinions and points of view, and sometimes it takes a long time for that to change. 

A slightly random example: up until the age of about nine years old I lived in a cul-de-sac down the the road from a park. It was literally the epitome of a simple life: my world didn’t stretch further than the houses of the kids that lived on my road, and maybe the park once in a while. We played in the street in the summer and had snowball fights in the winter. 

At the bottom of the garden there was a tree that we nicknamed the “Barney Tree”, because it was so tall that its height resembled Barney the dinosaur. Anyone remember Barney the dinosaur?

  
But anyway, in my opinion that tree was the largest thing on the planet, and no-one could convince me otherwise. 

Then, as I grew older, I ventured into the town with my parents, and there was a telephone mast in the centre of town. It was about three times the size of the tree. Needless to say my tiny mind was well and truly blown.  I began to realise that maybe that tree wasn’t the largest thing on the planet. 

So I went on with my life, until we moved house. We moved to a new area, and one of the more notable things about it was the fact that it was dwarfed by a power station. 

If I thought that the telephone pole was tall, then the power station was another thing altogether. The first time I saw it I stared at it in awe because I had no idea that anything could be that huge. 

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that nothing is set in stone. My world started expanding with the discovery of new things, and I realised that opinions can change in the blink of an eye.

Unfortunately it’s not always that easy. There are a lot of people in the world who completely refuse to have their minds changed, because they are stuck in them. They are so focused on what they know that sometimes they can’t open up to new ideas. 

I’m sure we can all be like that sometimes. Maybe all we need is a change of perspective. 

Love from,

XXX