thoughts

life’s a running race (with a pension at the end)

We are taught to live our lives as though we are constantly running around one of those 400m athletics running tracks. Everyone in the race is different. Some people are blessed with an inside lane, breezing through without even needing to push themselves into a sprint. Some, however, are less lucky and are doomed to an outer lane with no head start, forever trying to catch up but falling further and further behind in the process. What everyone in the race has in common is that we’re all being forced to compete against one another. From the minute we pop into the world, we’re taught that if we do well in school, we can go to university, get a degree, get a job, get a mortgage, buy a house, work to pay off the mortgage, then finally, after a lifetime of running in a narrow little lane, we can retire and do as we please. Cool!!!

Since I started primary I was always pretty academic I guess, I usually got the gist of things pretty quickly and I haven’t really had to stress too hard about getting the marks I wanted ((I’ll talk more about what I think of exams soon)). I guess I’m pretty grateful for that, but what I’m not grateful for is the box you’re shoved into because of it. Going into high school I kind of felt like my life was laid out for me. If you’re considered academic your usually supposed to find your specialty which’ll then lead to your expected career path. Get good grades in science? Ok, well you are going to study Medicine. Maths? Engineering. English and Social Sciences? Law. Statistics, Economics, Accounting? Business. Those are the areas with the money so therefore those are the areas you will study.

From primary up until Year 11 I had actually been pretty good at Math (bet a lot of of y’all didn’t know thisssss). Because of this it was expected that I was going to go off earning heaps of money as an engineer. I hated this. I couldn’t think of anything worse than seeing these people in twenty years and knowing they successfully predicted my future. So, me being the oppositional little bitch I was, decided that I didn’t wan’t to be an Engineer; that I hated Math, hated Science, and that I was good at English and Social Sciences, despite these being the areas where I had always been streamed very averagely and where my marks were probably weakest.  Suddenly I found the written subjects really interesting and began to lose interest in the areas in which I had once thrived. If you have ever heard of the Law of Attraction, search that shit up because this is evidence that it works.

So fast forward two years down the track. When I finish the year I will have English, Statistics, four different Social Sciences, and Woodwork at Level 3. This is the opposite to what 13 year old me saw myself finishing school with. But don’t get me wrong, I haven’t tricked my mind into liking these subjects. Deep down I must have always enjoyed them -but I had been told so many times that numbers were my thing that I never ever knew that words could be too.

Right now you’re probably thinking ummm give a fuck about that dumb ass story. But hear me out haha.

So something I hate about our school system is that from the age of five we are put into categories depending on how well we can sit a test. I think exams are stupid. For one, we are expected to sit in a seat for three hours, which some can find more difficult than others – something that literally has nothing to do with the person’s intelligence at all. Also, last year I went into my English exam knowing nothing about Frankenstein except bits from the internet I had pieced together into an essay. I only read the first quarter of the book and my knowledge didn’t extend past three of the minor female characters. Despite this, I came out with a completely undeserved excellence. That exam was a memory test, not an intelligence test. Which in my opinion in completely unfair and shows that this stupid, small-minded system will only ever benefit some people. Yet, our intelligence is so quick to be judged on school results.

When I decided I was going to hate Math, I tested waters that I had been too close minded to test before, and found topics I was actually passionate about, not just something like equations that I could learn and then recite onto a piece of paper. There is a difference between being naturally good at something and being genuinely interested in it. Schools usually expect you to stick with the former rather than the latter because that’s what’ll get you the good marks and that’s what will determine your future. But will it seriously determine your future? I feel like thats a yarn and a half. Firstly, you don’t need good high school results to be successful lol, and secondly, it’s kind of stupid that we see our ‘future’ as how successful we are in terms of money. “Will I own a house???” “Will I have a decent job??” We’ve been manufactured to believe that a successful future is one with money, because then we will be happy. Why aren’t we taught that doing what you love is whats going to determine your future? Probably because then we wouldn’t be jumping at the spit to hop on the corporate ladder and help make the rich richer haha.

One time I was doing a BuzzFeed quiz (probably determining my eye colour or some shizz) and it asked whether I thought money buys happiness. Channelling my inner inspo, thinking I was being all moral and socially aware, I answered no. But when they asked me if I wanted to be rich I answered yes. I didn’t even realise at the time but I had answered differently to what was theoretical the same question. It’s a bummer how much our society has grown to rely on and compete for money, but whats more of a bummer if that it’s so core to our behaviour that we dont even realise we do it.

For example, do you actually want to study Medicine because you want become a surgeon and save lives, or do you just want to study Medicine because you do alright in Science and you want to be rich? If you actually full on internalise this and realise you truly want to become a surgeon, or a doctor or whatever, then thats sick! But if you realise it’s the latter, then whats the point? What’s the point of putting yourself through years of stress and debt just to end up with money you don’t even enjoy earning. Being Year 13 this year is pretty annoying because we have to make life changing decisions and it’s hard to chose between what you actually want to do and what your parents/teachers think you should be doing. Like do they know best because they are experienced, or do I know best because I know myself better than anyone?? At the moment I feel like my heart is clashing with my head, it’s all getting pretty confusing and I know so many people are in the same boat.

We’ve been born into a system, we’re expected to keep running in our lane until our 400m is up. Although I have an idea about what I want to do, something inside of me just wants to break out of the narrow lane I have been running in for the past 13 years. The system is so fucking boring. I need to jump into another lane for a while, sit down for a sec and catch my breath, run the track backwards or fucking get off that track and do some field events. Who cares – because I could just find what I’m looking for.

 

🙂

 

 

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thoughts

2016 in reflection

I’m definitely not someone who, at the beginning of a new year, enjoys over analysing my life and overly appreciating what the previous year has brought me. But, when hearing people over the last few days placing 2016 in a category (whether it be a good or bad one), I realised that after a shitty 2015, 2016 will definitely be slipped into the category of one of the sickest years so far.

I hit so many milestones in 2016. The biggest one for me would probably be going vegetarian in April and then becoming vegan 6 months later. This was something that I wanted to do for so long, but always found excuses to do so. After finding out the revolutionary benefits veganism had on our deteriorating enironment, I looked into it further and the ethical argument was equally as strong, not to mention the significant health benefits (if you actually eat healthy vegan food hah). This is seriously one of the best decisions I have ever made and I’ll never go back!

Aside from that, other memorable moments were getting 3rd in NZ for the u18 quad at Maadi Cup, getting my learners and my restricted, going to a mock UN security council meeting, my house getting renovated, going to YLead, playing in the school orchestra (although not very well), joining enviro group and amnesty international, finally figuring out how to study for exams, getting a job, finishing englishh and maths forever, and making a blog!

I’m proud of these physical things I have done, but what I am most proud of how I have changed mentally. Even though I still think most to this stuff is super cringe, over the last year I have definitely become more appreciative of the world and everything that comes with it – including myself. I feel as though I have finally started becoming comfortable without feeling the need to compare myself to everyone else, which just causes you to desire what you don’t or can’t have. If you think that you need to be like everyone else in order to be liked, then you are wrong. I thought this for soooo many years without realising that what makes people likeable is not the things that make them fit into a crowd, but the little quirks that make them different and themselves.

2016 was the year that I decided to, for the most part, just stop caring about what people thought about me. If they don’t like me for who I am then they don’t like me, and I told myself that I would just have to become acceptive of that – there will be reasons we don’t connect, and I wasn’t going to make an effort to change myself in order to change this truth. In doing this, I have had more energy to meet new people and become closer with friends that I actually enjoy the company of and who (I hope) enjoy the company of me.

Everyone takes the piss out of the saying ‘new year, new me,’ myself included, because it is awful. However, reflecting back, 2016 didn’t bring a ‘new me’ per se, but definitely a new way that I saw myself – making me more me than I have felt in a long time.

2016 was mint, and all the good to come out of it definitely outweighed the bad. I’m totally ready for 2017, and lets hope the years to follow just keep getting better.

happy new year xo

 

 

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thoughts

compassion is the answer!!!!

Our world is in a serious state of compassionate deficiency – affecting people, animals and the environment. But apparently the consequences don’t matter, because they aren’t affecting you. Our world is stuck in the mindset that if we have neither seen nor eaten a strawberry in our life, that strawberries therefore must not exist (despite the clear evidence that they in fact do).
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Many people argue that they are compassionate beings, that they are aware of and empathise with the feelings of other living things. However, this is where empathy and compassion are different. To be compassionate, these empathetic feelings going on inside your head must coincide with the feeling to do something about it – there is no use, for example, feeling empathetic towards someone who is about to get hit by a car, then not actually taking any action to warn them about it.

I think our lack of compassion is driven less so by hate and more so by plain indifference – and I am definitely guilty of this. When hearing facts such as 795 million people don’t have enough food to live a normal life, or that our worlds land ice is decreasing by 281 gigatonnes every year, initially I am concerned. But within hours, if not minutes, these facts have been disregarded and I have entered a sense of indifference. When I take some time to revisit and process issues such as these, I am disappointed in myself for not having the startling truths on my mind 24/7, and for going about my day worrying about stupid problems such as my phone battery draining every time I use snapchat.

However, I do not believe we are instinctively indifferent about our worlds biggest issues, but that we are struggling to process the connection between the statistical numbers and their reality. 795 million people is the same as the whole population of New Zealand being multiplied by about 172 and then left hungry (Fun Fact: 70% of US’s grain is being fed to farmed animals, which is enough to feed 800 million people 🙂 ). 1 gigatonne of ice is equal to 1 billion tonnes – that means 281 billion tonnes of land ice is melting per year. This statistic is clear evidence that our world temperatures are rising, yet many still believe global warming is a hoax because they live in a country that hasn’t been outwardly affected by it yet, or because it just so happens to be a chilly day in their neck of the woods. Our lack of connection to numbers is driving our indifference, which is driving our overall lack of compassion to the world around us. I can’t help wonder if the media is partially to blame for this? Because I know for sure there was no trouble connecting numbers with their reality after the Paris attacks in 2015. If concern for issues were being more highly publicised, concern would be normalised by the public because the public always has, and always will, mimic the media.
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In my opinion, indifference is worse than hate – and our current worlds incapability to process situations that don’t affect us directly will eventually bring us to our doom. Although it is really important to be aware of the consequences brought on by our indifference and lack of compassion, in order to make a change we must draw our thoughts away from what we lack and focus on what we want. We attract what we think about, so if we focus on what is written below we will begin to attract more compassion within ourselves and eventually around us, whereas if we continue to focus about our growing indifference and absence of compassion, we will only be attracting more.

We want to be surrounded by compassiona8a5b4298e64562e19d12109cf8195cb because it will
reduce judgement towards those in our community
We want to be surrounded by compassion because there will be more equity for minority groups
We want to be surrounded by compassion because families struggling to make ends meet in our own country could have a brighter future.
We want to be surrounded by compassion because animals will no longer be bred and raised with their sole purpose being to satisfy the greed of people.
We want to be surrounded by compassion because Syrian children could grow up the risk of being bombed.
We want to be surrounded by compassion because future generations need a safe planet just as much as we do.
We want to be surrounded by compassion because it is the beginning of the answer.

comp_ex_engBy no means am I compassionate to everything/everyone one I come across – there is so much I need to improve on. Like virtually everyone, I find myself being super judgemental at times, but about two or three years ago when I was visiting Wellington I picked up this card while in a coffee shop. I can’t say it changed my life because I always forget I have it haha, but whenever I do read it, it plays on my mind for ages, and really changes the way I view things.

I am challenging both myself and anyone reading this to carry out this exercise whenever they remember. Take first step into making this world a more compassionate one!! 🙂 🙂

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Uncategorized

I made a blog

I’m not someone who’s ideas can flow out right out of their mouth and sound awesome, so I have never really been one to go around expressing my opinions to everyone I meet. This is why I love writing, because you can take your time and you’re seeds of ideas just tend to grow as you write. (Also you don’t sound like an annoying preacher lol)

I’ve been wanting to make a blog for probably the past year but have always been put off by the judgement served to those who have, and also out of fear that I would run out of things to write about. However, due to my favourite inspirational quote still being YOLO, I’ve just decided to go for it and see how it goes 🙂

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