Live Every Day

Live Every Day

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

In the company of love.

I have just returned from a week in Mexico to celebrate the marriage of my best friend to the love of her life. That is the romanticised version of an opener that would normally be far more sarcastic of at least less “flowery” from someone such as myself. This blog is here largely to explain why. Sit tight, you could be in for an odd ride!

Now usually I’m as cynical as they come on the subject of love and marriage; I never cry at weddings and I’ve never said “I love you” in that way (the absence of a long term relationship in my 26 years speaks volumes here). However, I feel a change in me that I just did not see coming…and I like it! I know, I know, I can literally here the “who are you and what have you done with the real Hattie!?” cries from you all, and I truly am sorry for the shock, I assure you it was not intentional. Trust me, there are none so surprised as I by the uncharacteristic change of heart. But get used to it guys, it’s happened and it may well be here to stay.

If I’m honest, I think it all started with an event a little while ago, but that is not for your eyes and ears, so I’ll endeavour to explain the acceleration of these feelings that occurred in sunny Riviera Maya.

I made a speech at Nena and Tom’s wedding and I really meant what I said, I felt every word. If you are reading this knowing their story, my feelings will be even more justified, but even if you don’t know them, what I’ll give you of their story will make sense. As a couple they have been through far more than their fair share of ups and downs but they’ve faced everything together and their strength as a family is truly inspiring. They make you feel so at ease and it’s wonderful.

As for Cancun, well what I witnessed there was true love without question:
A man who gave up social pursuits to save money, who flew thousands of miles away from his friends and most of his family to partake in a ceremony of both a faith and language not his own, who shared ideas and thoughts in an area he was not really interested in previously (wedding cake tasting, anyone!?), all to give his princess the wedding she so wanted and deserved.
A woman who experienced extreme levels of stress to remotely plan a wedding and organise 75 guests, who went without a family Christmas, sleep and a whole lot more for months in the build-up, who missed out on time in the gorgeous sunshine after a long English winter just to finalise everything and please everyone so she could marry her prince and share the special day with her family.

That, to me at least, is far more magical than any fairy tale, far more romantic than a Hollywood blockbuster love story and just generally more raw and real than anything you could ever read. That’s love, in its truest form. Sure, it’s not always beautiful and pure, but it has moments so perfect that you just know it’s meant to be. Seeing my best friend look like such a vision and seeing the joy in her wonderful husband’s eyes at that wedding made me cry. I cried in the loveliest way. I felt exhilarated.

So yes, I now do believe in love. I don’t know how many chances we get, but I do know that it’s up to us to take them. There’s no “fate” about it, if you have the opportunity to be in love, you fight for it. Grab it with both hands and bask in its weird and wonderful glory. If you belive too then keep looking, keep trying. I really do feel like love can happen to us all. You can’t regret trying, but you can regret not giving it a go.

So an enormous thank you to Nena and Tom and all the guests that made that week so incredible. Family and friends with lots of love to share.

Love x

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Bad to the bone

Bullies. I’m pretty sure we’ve all come across at least a couple in our lives. I’m also pretty sure that most of us have probably fallen victim to their bullying at some point or other. I’m sure statistics would tell us just what percentage of the population has been bullied. Except that the statistics would be wrong. I’d make book on that fact. There is a simple reason behind this thought; lots of people will never admit that they were bullied.

Every so often I sort of forget about bullying a little bit, just for a tiny while. I’m an adult and I don’t have any children yet, so why should it be on my mind? But of course that’s not how it is at all. In a world full of social media and constant bitchiness in the tabloids and gossip magazines creating an environment where being openly nasty to another human being is “ok”, bullying is not only commonplace amongst all generations, it now has more outlets, excuses and possibility for harm than ever before. Now it can be anonymous, and equally horribly if it isn’t anonymous, people don’t seem to care because “everyone’s doing it” and there is very much a “them against us” scenario.

Just recently I’ve suffered, albeit mildly, the effects of so-called “cyber bullying”. I have also suffered a lot of “hater” from both people I know and strangers on the street. All because I finally feel like I know who I am at 25 years old, and I’m not afraid to be it. I speak my mind and I don’t suffer fools. I am honest, kind, individual and loud (in both volume and sometimes dress-sense!). I understand not everyone will like me and I’m ok with it, just as I won’t like everyone I meet. That’s our prerogative. But there is no need to go spreading hate and nastiness. But there we go, some people are born bullies I guess. Bad to the bone. And not in the cool way.

I want people to know that there is no shame in being bullied; it’s not your fault. Jealousy or a lack of understanding can often be at the root of it. That just means that you are fabulous and they can’t handle it.

Most of my life I have been too utterly embarrassed to admit that I was ever bullied. But bullied I was. Severely. For a very long time. I thought it meant I was weak and disgusting. I thought if I told people then it would make them see what the bullies saw and turn them against me. I was bullied by other children from my very first day at primary school to my very last day at secondary school. Every single day I was at school. Every. Last. One. And then, for my first year of sixth form. By my form tutor. But by then, all my peers were incredible and there was no bullying amongst the students. And while that was one hell of a (welcome) shock to the system, it gave me the strength to deal with the situation and persevere until I got it sorted. I changed forms eventually, after many meetings and complaints.

During the 11 years of compulsory education I was punched, spat at, scratched, stolen from, trapped in places, pushed down the stairs, sworn at, and generally treated like dirt and ostracised. By so many different people. You can see why I thought it was me. I honestly just assumed that I deserved it and accepted that it was my lot in life. I’d go home and cry or find sneaky ways to punish myself for being weak. A form of self-harm I suppose. It didn’t help.

Sure, I had friends. But all my closest friends were at a different school and I never felt fully connected to, safe or like myself around the friends I had at my own school. That is not their fault. I was just too terrified. If they got close and realised how pointless I was and how many people hated me then pretty soon they’d turn on me too. Of course I now know how ridiculous a notion that is, and looking back I really respect them for sticking around for the empty shell of a person I was back then. I feel guilty that I never gave them reason to stay friends with me, even if it was somewhat beyond my control. But that only shows their kindness and great judge of character. I hope I’m worthy of their friendship now. I think I am. I count myself as an amazing friend, so fingers crossed they’re glad they waited it out.

So there we go. That is a very big thing for me to have shared. I only hope it helps someone. To find the strength to somehow get the situation sorted. Or to just know that actually it’s not your fault and you don’t deserve it. It will get better.

A very lovely friend of mine has recently suffered at the hands of a bully at work. She is dealing with it all so bravely. I am very proud of her and I hope everyone can learn from her courage.

I am so thankful that social networking was not around when I was at school. Had the bullies been able to infiltrate my home-life too, I am honestly not sure I’d have been strong enough to cope. I have so much respect for all the poor children and teenagers now who have that to deal with in addition to everything else. I hope they can find it in them to cope.

I’d like to end by saying the most enormous thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the friends and family who were there for me even when they didn’t realise and even when I wasn’t there for myself. And to everyone who still fights my corner. I’ll always love you and be there for you too.

Haters need hobbies, but we are too wonderful to care.


The Box Under My Bed...

A small poem from June 2011.

Two little paper tickets,
so fragile in my hand.
Is this really all that's left?
Was it just a one night stand?
The tickets are pretty crumpled now,
a reflection of my heart.
Guess I've known this was coming
right from the start.
I thought that I could love you.
Was that just your charm?
Or the butterflies I felt
every time you touched my arm?
I know the signs.
I'm cynical to the bone.
Perhaps this time I was just to scared
by the thought of being alone. 
I liked to dream the dream
of one day being someone's wife,
but I guess that will never be.
So I'll shove the tickets in a box under my bed along with the rest of my life
and the dream that's not for me. 

That Moment in Time...

A little poem from June 2010.

To say I never loved you,
Would probably be a lie.
You made me feel amazing,
Before you made me cry. 
Perhaps if things were different
I never would have cared,
But I do have fond memories
Of ll the moments we shared.
But that's all it'll ever be;
Memories of long ago.
But I would do it all again the same
Even knowing what I know. 
I'll always feel a little bit broken,
A part of me not quite right.
When people try to get close,
I'll forever put up a fight.
But time is the greatest healer
And hopefully my heart will mend.
But I'll always remember that moment in time
That I prayed would have no end.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The F Word

I’m here to talk about that most dirty of “f words”. That’s right, you’ve guessed it. Feminism. Oh, you didn’t guess it? Well that’s great news! Because it isn’t a dirty word. Misused, misjudged and misunderstood, yes. But dirty? Most certainly not.

I am incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful and inspirational best friend, who for some time has, rather unknowingly, taught me a lot about feminism. Through her I have slowly come to realise that feminism isn’t all bra burning, hairy under armed, in-your-face women. Quite the contrary. I myself am a feminist and I would never harm a bra and am rather fond of a smooth armpit. We’ll skip the part where I deny being in-your-face. Because I’m not certain that I can entirely deny that one. I have my moments. But I say it again, unashamedly: I am a feminist. And if you’re reading this and are a part of my life, then I truly hope you are too. Male or female. There’s a feminist in us all, even if we may not realise it.

If you already think men and women should be paid equally, be afforded the same rights and opportunities, be free to make their own decisions and live the life that suits them without being subject to harsh judgement, then you’re pretty well there. And that’s the bare bones of feminism right there. Equality. That’s all it is, at its core. A desire for equality.

I’m still pretty new to all this myself. A fledgling feminist just coming to terms with my new wings. But I am learning and evolving all the time. The fabulous aforementioned friend gave me a book for my 25th birthday by the incredibly talented Caitlin Moran. This has been an enormous catalyst in my writing this little piece. She talks about all the myths of feminism and dispels the more ridiculous notions. How to be a Woman truly is worth a read, and I urge you all to pick up a copy. It had me laughing and crying and more importantly, really thinking. There are lots of experiences she’s been through that most of us can relate to, and I found it to be a great introduction to feminism if you just aren’t quite sure what the heck it’s all about. Any woman who asks me to stand on a chair and shout “I am a feminist” and reclaim the word “cunt” is all together brilliant in my mind.

Feminism is slowly gaining momentum, and has been gradually building for some time. But there is still such a long way to go. I used to worry that my own goals in life were contradictory to feminism. However I am now aware that they aren’t. Far from it. My desire to live the life I want to live and have the freedom to enjoy myself and express my opinions is in fact well within the walls of feminism. I am not desperate for a career or anything like that and I genuinely do hope to one day be a mother, spending my days looking after my house and my children, cooking dinner for my family and spending time with the people I love. I am fortunate enough to live in a time where people are slowly starting to understand that I am not being old fashioned, or bowing down to the patriarchy. I genuinely don’t enjoy working, I believe I was born to be a mother. If I am lucky enough I will get to fulfil that dream and not feel judged for it.

So I guess that’s it on this one for now. I don’t want to ramble on. I would like you to have a little think though, about what feminism means to you. Don’t be scared, it could open up a whole world of inspiration to you. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Lest We Forget

I can’t help feeling entirely relieved now that this obscene football-poppy shambles has reached some form of resolution. I have to say it was becoming utterly ridiculous. I had feared it was fast morphing into yet another hideous row over race and politics.

Wear a poppy. Don’t wear a poppy. It is just so unbelievably unimportant. The 11th November is REMEMBRANCE day. A day when we REMEMBER. We remember the brave soldiers who fought and died in the First World War. We remember all the service men and women who were enlisted into World War Two. We remember every child without a parent, every mother and father without a child, husbands and wives without their soul mates. We remember those whose lives were lost during war, those who were injured fighting, and those who lost loved ones. We remember all the people affected by all the wars.

These days lots of people choose to use the day to honour the many men, women and children lost, injured, widowed and orphaned by the recent conflicts. I personally don’t, instead choosing to reflect on the earlier wars where soldiers had no choice but to fight for their country, but that’s my choice. And I expect that to be respected just as I respect the choices of others. With charities like Help for Heroes and much more general awareness these days I like to think that soldiers and their families have far more options open to them for support. They certainly deserve it. Regardless of this, the Royal British Legion does some amazing work for all kinds of people and relies upon the continued support of the public. Support that is greatly enhanced by the financial contribution gained from purchasing a poppy, and the awareness raised by wearing it.

If anyone ever loses sight of why we wear a poppy in November every year, there is a very simple idea I would put to them. There is a beautiful episode of Blackadder that I think really hits home. I think you will all know exactly the one I mean. It really strikes a chord with me. It reminds me that an enormous amount of people, just like me, marched blindly into a war they didn’t fully understand, prepared to lay down their lives for the basic human rights we all, rightly so, believe we are afforded. It makes a lot of sense to me because it brings to light the reality of war, and indeed life. Sometimes it is funny, because let’s face it, if we didn't look for the humour and joy in each and every little thing we do, none of us would even bother getting out of bed in the morning. But more importantly it shows us the pure spirit and human goodness within the hearts of all those brave men.

So on Friday, wear a poppy if you feel you can. I personally believe that everyone should but I understand and respect that not everyone will. But whether your choice is to both proudly and humbly display a poppy or to leave it for this year, please don’t forget. Don’t forget all the people regardless of race, background, age, political preference, religion, anything, who have been affected by this dreadful disease of war. Those who choose to wear poppies, I hope, will know that in the modern world in which we live, they commemorate everyone the world over, throughout history that has been lost or injured in war.

So let’s not get involved in petty bickering over who should wear what and why. Let’s just, for one day, for one moment, look around us and appreciate how lucky we are. Because not everyone is. And thanks to some people, we will continue to be lucky every day and we will get to kiss our loved ones goodnight every evening. I will never forget the fallen, I hope neither will any of you. 

Friday, 4 November 2011

Another little poem...

I got into bed last night and then this popped into my head so I wrote it on my phone and now I am sharing it! Hope you like.

We cry ourselves to sleep
And wake with swollen eyes.
Our hearts can only weep
As we begin to realise
That all we are
Is not enough.
We want the stars
But get the rough.
Our hearts are broken,
Cast aside.
Our eyes are open
But they hide
The pain we feel
That seems so wrong
And yet it’s real
And lasts so long.
So shed your tears
And chase away
Those painful years.
Tomorrow’s a new day.
That is all for the minute :-)