insides

sometimes i wish i could welcome

someone else into my brain

tell me

is it reminiscent of theirs

is my rationale 

lying outside the boundaries of reason 

or is this the view commoners plod

along with 

as i learn more

i forage for hope and sense 

in pits of dust

and come out dusty

it could go either way

when you hear bad news, and I mean really life-stopping-and-changing bad news, the kind of news that leaves you sobbing, questioning and traumatised, it can leave you in unchartered territories, new and undiscovered states of distress. 

I wanted to write this earlier, but I knew I needed time. I don’t think I’m ready to put into words what happened, but it has changed me as a person. I can feel this little tiny piece of coal sitting in my mind body and soul that will always be there now. it’s the first time life has really shown me what it’s made of. past events, they didn’t have that shock factor. 

now I feel this panic inside me that I have never had before. this idea that thinks, why do I feel this way? has something bad happened? when my phones rings unexpectedly my heart stalls for a few beats, expecting the worst. at night my mind wanders to places that I’m finding out I desperately need a map to that doesn’t exist. 

when I try to turn my thoughts rational and consider how I’m going to live my life still without such worry, I linger on the idea of detachment. what would it look like, if I pursued the dreams I harbour without a second glance towards the piece of black coal? the only way I see that being possible is if I accept that life will throw me the worst and to just be okay with it. surely this is detachment from honest feelings and relationships, to go forward thinking “I would be okay if the worst happened”. 

yet I can’t have my mind plagued and be leant on with such anxious smoggy clouds. to go down the rabbit hole would be to give in to what made this mess in the first place. 

realistically, it isn’t what happened. it’s how it’s barrelled through the lives of so many and left this tsunami of destruction that causes after shock after wave. 

my waves are on behalf of other people’s waves. I know that doesn’t make sense but it does to me. I guess, I need to shift the world back into focus a little, through what means I just don’t know yet. I so desperately need a clutch, ideally a healthy one, and use it so I can be someone else’s clutch. 

Life points

A new idea was introduced

Life points

High, low, what’s it to be

When the rich complain of money

To the poor

It’s low

When the coupled complain

To the single

It’s low

I want them to be high, I want them to be high for everyone

That isn’t the case so it seems

For those

Who get jealous

Instead of

Happy for you

Who in the same breath announce success

And wait for your smile for them

Please look elsewhere

As my mind is tired of the

Game

Of your points vs. mine

 

The Student Struggle

Broke as shit. Every New Zealand student’s current financial status. Not just broke as shit, but actually – in debt as fuck. The other day, our main source of news had the AUDACITY to post an article on how to minimise student loans. Linked here. The article is so wildly out of touch it is not funny. Clearly written by someone who either did not go to university, or had his parents pay his way.

New Zealand is forcing students into tens of thousands of student debt. Punishing those who will be the leading industry innovators in years to come. Some student debt is normal, but what is not normal is the uncomfortable living situations whilst getting deeper and deeper in debt. I receive $176.86 a week from the government in order to pay for my living costs. As I chose to study at the best university in New Zealand, my living costs are more around $220 a week (if I live very frugally). Rent is $185 a week, +bills (which includes a water bill), + food. My full-time university schedule allows me to have Fridays free. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, I work at my part-time job in retail. Because I have to. Because I am financially independent. I would love to get an unpaid internship in my future field of work – can I? No. I barely have enough time to finish my assignments let alone do anything that is not 100% required.

While I have to supplement my weekly government income, friends I have in Dunedin are living comfortably on $176.86 a week. With rent around the  $140 mark, it leaves enough money for bills and some for food. If one worked all summer, a year studying in Otago would be comfortable without a part-time job.

What I propose is, living costs should be geographically based. If studying in Auckland, at least $210 should be the living costs weekly. If students seem comfortable on the current income, leave it as is. This money will come back to the government, it is not gone forever. Bumping up the weekly amount for students to be able to concentrate more on their studies and less on their finances would be a better thing on an individual scale, and on a macro scale.

Auckland housing prices have recently skyrocketed. What this means for students is that renting is becoming more expensive. If you have money to spend on flatting, more often than not, that’s not enough. There aren’t actually enough rentals to go around. It is becoming more common to share rooms with your flatmates than it should be. It is not good enough. Auckland university does not provide any kind of solution to the issue, as they essentially are a money-making machine, not our advocate. In this system I am a number, 6056865. That is all.

Once I was in hospital for an exam, unable to make it. What did UoA do? But fail me for the class, for no reason except to charge me another $800 to retake it, putting my degree back by 6 months. What the system is doing wrong, is pissing students off enough that they leave the country as soon as they graduate, to search for something more fulfilling, where they are noticed and treated accordingly. I know this is already my plan. I do not want to live in a place that only lets the rich get richer. It is despicable.

Signed, Hannah 

Attention

Never has there been a generation surrounded by so many distractions. Advertising, technology, opportunities are rife and explosive, all around us. Yet, never has there been a generation so overly prescribed ADHD medication, numbing us to not take in the whirlwind around us, willing us to not notice.

As a university student, sitting in a lecture room with 300 students around me, all writing on our laptops the notes off the powerpoints, with nothing but our fingers moving for two hours, does not excite me about learning. Education systems are outdated. So we have moved from chalkboards, to white boards, to powerpoints. This is not change, this is not evolution. This is just what helps the teachers teach better, not students learn better. It is lazy and unhelpful. When we exit these rooms, there is a busy world that stimulates every nerve, every sensory receptor. It is no wonder that I do not listen when put in a room expected to copy notes. The world has changed, it’s bigger, brighter, more interesting than ever. The learning process has revolutionised, but when we are told we do not fit into the traditional puzzle, we are medicated. Medicated to be able to sit and listen, and not fidget.

I’m a third year Marketing major, and only last week was I asked to create an advertisement, what I hope I’ll be doing for a career. How can this possibly be? I’ve been taught theory and about other people’s ideas for 3 years. What if the time came and I wasn’t suited to create my own ads and could only emulate and copy those who have already done and succeeded. Marketing is all about novelty, and freshness. My teachers need to allow me the freedom to exercise my ability to find these skills and communicate them. That is teaching, that is value added.

Signed, Hannah 

Looks

If one wants to compare my looks to the certain standard upheld by the media, I’m definitely average. Average build, complexion, hair etc. Just very run of the mill. Which has always suited me fine, generally people don’t knock the average. However, it has recently come to my attention that someone has classified me as less than average, particularly when contrasted with my boyfriend. Before I carry on, I’d just like to say I’m not offended – just kind of curious.

I’m well aware looks don’t define a person, and what is on the inside is what counts. Though, let’s face it, the harsh truth is that if there are two people who are of equal intelligence and social calibre, the more attractive one will be picked (generally). This is how law firm staff all look so piiiirdy, actors on TV all look very symmetrical, and girl cliques come together in high school. What is so often forgotten, is that looks are a genetic lottery. Unless you have a butt tonne of money, you get what you get. If you’re lucky enough to have a fast metabolism and clear skin – it is luck. You didn’t choose to have those things unless you throw time and money at it. Even then, the base is still going to be either deemed below average, average, or above average. I guess the essence of what I am trying to get at is; why bitch about what other people look like when (I’m going to guess 100%) of the population wishes they could change something about their own appearance. Why did this boy (who I barely know) make a comment about what I look like? I’m so irrelevant to his life, and what I look like will in no way ever affect him.

Thing is, I have absolutely made a comment about someone else’s appearance before. Not always in a bad way, not that often, but I wouldn’t think too much about saying to a friend “You look beaut today” or even “Holy shit that girl is not workin’ that mini skirt”. I’m pretty sure I’ll make comments in the future saying similar things – I’m mentally aware that it is pointless and I’m judging someone on something they are powerless to change anyway, but I am somehow conditioned to react to other’s appearances. For F’s sake we even have a thing called ‘appearance medicine’ now.

It has crossed my mind before when my flatmate says I look good a certain day, that I’d rather they were saying I’m particularly funny that day or congratulate me on a point well-made. I do have an internal reflex going on where I’d rather be judged for something else other than what I look like… Am I the only person that has this reflex? Or do I need to learn to accept criticism and compliments a bit better? It’s funny, I’m not shallow in the slightest, my romantic track record is very all over the place if you go by looks, yet I bet there would be some that consider me vain because I like doing hair, makeup and putting together an outfit. Are these elements off my life linked? Do shallow and vain go hand and hand or can they be separate?

I guess this post is just a reminder to me to expect to be judged, and to not take it to heart. Not everyone is my cup of tea and vice versa.

Signed, Hannah 

Opinions

Opinions are funny things. Everyone differs in their beliefs, values, attitudes. There’s much debate about how opinions develop… perhaps they’re innate, perhaps they are constructed through social experiences. What I want to discuss though is how these opinions are expressed – and the spectrum of objectivity.

From experience, people sit on a continuum that ranges from indifference and nonchalance – to absolute intolerance of others having any opposing ideas to their own. I would sit somewhere up the intolerant end – I don’t suffer fools well – yet watching people stuff their criticisms of people and situations down other people’s throats really makes me uncomfortable and somewhat revolted.

For instance, the Keyboard Warriors of the world. Scrolling innocently through my Facebook feed, often a radio station page  will post a gossip story about a celebrity, eg Miley Cyrus, and it’ll invite all trolls sitting in neutral to kick into gear.. then the comments turn into the World’s Greatest Debate and everyone wants the award of having The Last Word. Why express online opinions? Those that do, one can only assume they lack control or excitement in their real lives so feel the need to hide behind their static image of a display picture to ruffle some feathers. I’m not afraid of confrontation, but I won’t actively seek it. Even if I saw something I wildly disagree with, something sexist racist or straight up derogatory, I would never comment online. Those that want to argue with you are simply looking for that – a superficial fight. Nothing you say, no matter how fiercely you say it, will affect them in any way. But then I think, should I be embracing my online opinion? This phenomenon we refer to as the Internet is the biggest platform ever created for those who wish to get up on the soap box and have a say. Pretty incredible protests and rallies have been organised by the unity of those who dare voice their points of view. Looking at the tragedies occurring in Ferguson, Missouri at the moment, it was public outcry that is causing the movement and social media would play a huge role in that.

Another important case to reflect on (especially as a New Zealander) is the Roast Busters case. Now this really rattled me, boys (they don’t deserve to be classified as men) created a Facebook group to brag about their sexual conquests and gang rape experiences with intoxicated underage women. They were not charged despite evidence. Aside from the obvious perspective most will share, what about thinking purely in terms of being allowed to have an opinion. Now they clearly had shared beliefs of what is appropriate and moral, and if you discount the illegal elements of this example, what was the difference between them having their opinion and for instance me having my own views of where moral boundaries lie? Just because our Government or our social contract has drawn these lines for us, does that mean that opinions that lie outside them should be banished? To what extreme? Opinions can hurt those who do not share them, but it is when opinions are treated as fact and turn into action, a problem ignites.

This is where I could segue into a discussion of Atheism vs. Religion but I might save that for another post. However I think it is important to at least touch on the point of this, and how opinions can hurt especially when used as a tool to judge or criticise another human being.

I guess why I wrote about this is because I have a had a fight with a friend recently because my opinion of their actions makes me see them in a new light. Upon telling them this (they asked why I had distanced myself) a roundabout conversation was had because sometimes people cannot simply agree or share an opinion. And I guess that is okay. I just wish there was a way for me to figure out how to have my opinion but ignore it to maintain the friendship. This life business is tricky.

Signed, Hannah