Friday, 28 September 2012

December 21st 2012 - Is This Judgement Day?

So, how many of you reading this have already made plans for 2013? I have. In fact, the whole world has. Movie release dates have been set, holidays have been booked, concerts have been arranged; Doomsday is the elephant in this massive room. According to Mayan predictions, the world is going to end on December 21st 2012. The Earth is going to be bombarded with natural disasters left, right and centre. Is it not obvious that we have come to the end? Simply think back to the floods in Cork over summer. I mean for crying out loud boy, if those Douglas lads didn’t have you convinced that two feet of water is a sign, then I don’t know what will, like.

Also, the Mayan era was a mere 6000 years after Ireland’s Mesolithic period. Of course I am implying that man could make a rather large transition from hunter-gatherer and first farmer to future-predictor/ world-ender in this relatively short space of time. Heck, it’s only four years since the Recession started. Give Enda and his posse another 5996 years and imagine where Ireland could be.

Something I find quite captivating and downright amusing is the way in which people react to this prediction. I brought up this topic with my mother merely a few moments ago, and her response was rather… unexpected, to say the least. It was the first she had heard of the theory (she doesn’t get out much) so understandably her answer was “I f**king hope not”, with shock ringing through her words. When I asked as to why it won’t end, she replied “I won’t let it ruin my Christmas, that’s why”. Simple as. Others, however, firmly believe in this ráméish. Many websites and documentaries fuel the minds of the silly (*sighs* there is no better word) people that actively encourage underground shelters and preparation for all to end.

But surely it would take more than one day anyway to destroy an entire planet. It took seven days to create the world, right? So it’s only logical that it takes seven days to destroy it. Therefore, due to our current geographical location on this planet being somewhere between the target areas (i.e. Earthquake and volcano locations), we should have a minimum of four days more than the Americans or the Russians. Karma for the wars, bitches. So yes this means Christmas may still proceed, even if half of the Earth is being destroyed due to an enormous amount of global warming and well, general cataclysms. On the plus side, we could have a White Christmas. Ho-hum.

If my opinion on the whole charade isn’t already clear, no I don’t believe the world will end in a few months. Unfortunately, I live in an age where hype is a form of sadistic mind-control. It is likely that by December I will have been sucked into this global vortex of speculation and panic. No doubt I will find myself becoming more and more aware of every little detail around me. Such as the Penneys voucher I forgot to use or all the clothes with the tags still on them that I must wear at least once. My opinions will be unleashed like the tornado that will devastate Singapore (not a 100% accurate theory), and I will destroy anyone that has ever gotten in my way. My wrath will continue on to all those who have squandered my precious time in the past. The voice of the woman in the “no-nonsense car insurance” advert – you shall be exiled to the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Putting everything into perspective, I think we all know nothing is going to happen on this needlessly dramatic date. When all the commotion has passed, life will carry on and the believers will find excuses, and set yet another wonderful date so this whole fandango can start again. Yet I wonder how many of you will send one cautious text or make one careful phone call the night before, just in case.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Inside The Mind of The Cheated

Betrayal is something that is so over-publicized these days that it has almost lost its actual meaning. We hear about it so much in the media or in movies, songwriters express it in their number one hits all the time which people casually sing along to, unaware of the pain it took to write such powerful and imposing lyrics. Do we ever really understand the act of cheating? In my opinion, cheating will always just be a common phrase that’s taken for granted. Unless of course you have experienced its heart-wrenching effects.

So why do people do it? What sort of mystical being can capture and engulf someone’s heart that once belonged safely to someone else? Not many I would think. Nine times out of ten you don’t end your current relationship and marry your secret Lover; you regret it ever happening. Then why do it? For some people, it’s the thrill of it all. It’s a small spark with someone else that you didn’t think possible when you got into your relationship. You start doubting it; “Am I happy with my partner?” “If I was, would I be feeling these mixed emotions?”  The answer (generally speaking) is yes. Depending on how long you’ve been in the relationship, you may not feel butterflies anymore. You may not shake in their presence, or want to be with them all the time. But you do need them. Life wouldn’t be the same without them.

I guess one way of looking at it is that love is like a drug. It makes you feel ecstatic and you can’t get enough of it. You need it on a daily basis to survive. But as time passes, you get accustomed to the high. It begins to feel normal, like it isn’t even in your system. That’s when a new drug (the Lover) comes into the picture. However, if you take away the first drug that’s been keeping you grounded, you’ll start to get withdrawal symptoms and wish you hadn’t forgotten what that ecstatic feeling was like. And sometimes that’s really all it is. People forget what it was they felt in their relationship until it’s too late.

Perhaps sometimes it’s simply spending too much time with someone you know is interested. Mix alcohol into that and you’ll have deadly results. I refuse to accept drinking as a legit excuse for cheating. No-one forced you onto him; no-one forced you to get drunk. In fact, people may even have warned you in the midst of the madness not to betray your partner. But when a person’s mind is set on something and they are consumed in those thoughts (and liquor), nothing will prevent the inevitable mistakes that lie ahead. If you have been cheated on in these circumstances, don’t make or allow excuses. Don’t blame the drink. Alcohol didn’t cheat on you.

After you have experienced this utmost form of betrayal, how does the relationship recover from such a blow? First of all you must decide if the relationship is worth fighting to save. You could base that decision on multiple factors: 1. Did you partner tell you everything about the affair without having to be interrogated. 2. Did they show remorse and regret for their actions. 3. Are they willing to work ruthlessly to get your trust back? If the answer is yes to all of those factors, to a certain extent they deserve another chance.  But even if you do decide to forgive them, the emotional scars will not automatically fade away. Nor will the mind-engraved vision of your loved one enjoying the gentle caress of a hand or lip that isn’t yours.

When your heart is hurt in such a tormenting way, there is only one person that can heal it: yourself. No amount of “I’m sorry” s or boxes of chocolates can replace the piece of your heart that was lost in this process. Will you heart ever replace that piece? Possibly not. Maybe it’s just leaving room for an even stronger love to grow in its place. If you can genuinely forgive someone for playing your heart like that, at least you’ll have the consolation of knowing that no matter how many times it gets broken, you have a heart that many relationships would die for. You have a heart that shows no boundaries towards forgiveness and love.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

LGBT - Why is it so hard to accept?

I wonder how many people in Ireland have, today, used the term “gay” in a joke or an insult. I overheard a joke merely a few hours ago, and although I find it disgusting that people so casually mock the term, I found myself laughing at the joke itself. I can assure you I am in no way homophobic, as you will soon understand for yourselves. What I can’t comprehend however, is that on paper Ireland is overall accepting of LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), but when put in a situation where LGBT must be faced, the reactions are disappointing, for want of a better word. People (very obviously) stare, they shout insults, and even do physical harm to anyone that may even look LGBT. I would refer to LGBTs as “gays” for the purpose of this post, but I find that extremely offensive. They are not all the same, no matter how much you insist they are.

One aspect of LGBT that I found extremely interesting was researching the flags and symbols that represent the different communities. Most people would be familiar with the rainbow flag which is associated with gay pride, but not as many would know the others. For bisexuals, the flag consists of three colours: pink, which represents homosexuality, blue which represents heterosexuality, and lavender which is a mix of both colours and represents bisexuality. Bisexual Pride Day is September 23rd and is something I will proudly and openly be supporting.

What the majority of you possibly don’t realize is that Jews weren’t the only ones murdered in the Holocaust; gays were too. Along with the six million that were recognized by their Star of David badge, gay men were forced to wear a pink triangle badge on their clothes. If you were a Jewish homosexual, you had to wear a pink triangle overlapping a yellow triangle. Lesbians and feminists were forced to wear a black triangle, but were not put to death like the men. It amazes me that in the midst of a world war, Hitler found the time to make pretty little pink badges to be worn by a small number of 3000 men. Yet there is no mention of those innocent men that were brutally killed in our history books. Why it has been decided to overlook this vital fact while including Hitler’s failure to gain entrance to the Fine Arts Academy, is beyond me. Homophobic murders; painting…

What is it like to “come out” in this day and age you ask? Well, let me tell you. I announced my bisexuality in January of 2011 and to be quite honest, got little or no abuse considering I attend an all-girls school. Then again, maybe I did but just didn’t hear about it. Either way, I got the best reaction I could’ve asked for. Possibly because I kept it to myself until I was sure, avoiding rumours and gossiping which can and have destroyed people’s identities. I think in a way I gained respect for being myself. I’ve been told I was “so brave” for doing it, but I’m not going along with that bravado. Genuinely it’s because not a fuck was given on my behalf if people didn’t like me; I had enough haters as it was.

So yeah, there’s my secret: blind faith that nothing would change. The only bad side of it was that the only constant but not intentional abuse I got was from my closest friends, but I eventually learned to block out their careless use of the word “lesbian” and their rare, sly insults.

Just think about it, how many programmes are televised regularly with LGBT references in them? Let me list a few obvious ones: Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks (probably every soap on TV), Grey’s Anatomy, Glee, Desperate Housewives, and many more. How many of you watch one or more of those shows? I would expect most do. Now how many of you feel the need to shout insults at the screen when one of the LGBT characters appear? Very few I assume. So then why do it on the streets or on the internet, in schools or in workplaces? You’re completely contradicting yourself. Also, think about all the open LGBT celebrities out there. Ellen DeGeneres, Graham Norton, Angelina Jolie, Lady GaGa, David Bowie, Billie Joe Armstrong, Freddie Mercury; the list goes on. If it’s okay for them to be open about who they are, why isn’t it okay for us ‘nobodies’? Explain that, society.

In 2004, the Constitution stated that same-sex marriages are not recognized in Ireland, yet this year a survey was carried out showing that 73% of Irish people think it should be allowed. Fifteen gay and lesbian couples have tied the knot in Kerry since civil partnership was introduced in Ireland last year. Nationally over 700 couples have taken the plunge. Same-sex civil partnerships now account for 2.6% of all partnerships in Ireland. If you are one of those 73% that voted yes; thank you. You may, unbeknownst to you, have impacted my future.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Girls - From a Girl's Perspective

Does this one really need an introduction? I think the title says enough. But just to clear it up, I’m going to be discussing the way I see the female population. And it’s not all batting eyelashes and innocent giggling, oh no. It’s so much more than meets the eye.

To begin with I’d just like to state one thing: Girls over-analyse everything. Without even realizing, I quickly looked over that sentence, making sure everything sounded and looked okay. God damn my female tendencies. It’s almost as if it comes naturally to us. One example was last week when my English teacher corrected my homework that I was oh-so proud of, she wrote “Overall: well done”. If I was a guy, that would be that. But as a girl, questions whizzed through my mind “What does she mean by ‘well done’?” “What grade would that be?” “Why didn’t she say something more specific?” “Were there any mistakes?”.  A typical example of over-analysing something miniscule.

 Another example of that is texting. You can change a girl’s whole mood by putting one less “x” or simply forgetting a smiley face. If you’re a boy texting a girl and you don’t notice the mood change; God help you. Part of it is for attention and to see if you care or not, but most of it really is to do with over-analysing the text. If this happens, one of two things are bound to occur: 1. She’ll start panicking and read over the whole conversation to see where she went wrong, and then try to justify it; or 2. If you drop an “x”; she’ll drop two. If you forget a smiley; she’ll use a full-stop. If you reply with something that isn’t a question; she’ll reply with “K”.

Yes that is very unfair on the male population; the poor things have to ‘run the world’ and deal with women’s mood swings. Aww. See, us women would be more suited to those jobs. Want to know why? We can multi-task.

As you can see, I can definitely point out a few male flaws, but that’s for another blog. One of the worst features of girls has to be how unbelievably bitchy we are. It’s like a sick hobby. But the worst part is it’s addictive.

It’s crazy how you could be sitting next to a girl in class and you both would get on great, but the minute that bell rings, you ignore each other again. Girls are so blatantly obvious about it as well. If a group of girls are gossiping about you, it won’t take long to figure it out. They will all be staring right at you as if they’re invisible to you. It’s like girls don’t understand the meaning of the word “discreet”. I think the most horrible part is that if a girl has a problem with you, she will destroy you. I don’t mean physically either. You couldn’t possibly expect her to fight; she could break a nail or smudge her make-up. She will hurt you far worse: emotionally. A girl has the ability to tear you to shreds with her words. I’ve had this done to me and also have used it in my favour. It’s a nasty trait to have but sometimes quite a useful back-up.

Briefly, as a sort of interlude, I’m going to rant about girls getting ready. “Oh my God WHAT am I going to do; I only have six hours to get ready! *starts crying*” It’s times like these I wish I was a guy. What could you possibly be doing for six hours?! You’re not that ugly. All you need to do is do your hair, do your make-up, and put on the clothes (which there is usually very little of anyway).  I understand having a shower needs to be factored into that but unless you plan on hosing down every square inch of your body, that shouldn’t take any longer than fifteen minutes. If it does, I’m afraid you have a hygiene problem.

Okay, rant over. Back to a final extremely irritating characteristic of girls. The way they suddenly change from sophisticated and respectable, to complete brain-dead bimbos when there is a male in the vicinity. Why?! Are you trying to make the entire female race look like twats? I’d love to know how many guys actually find it attractive when a girl acts stupid. “Aw man look at her putting sellotape on her friend’s face, I want her”. I strongly doubt that’s how it works. The sad part is guys probably think that’s what girls are like all the time. It’s not.

Oh, and something else I find intriguing: how girls can magically transform at lunchtime. They go from looking like someone dragged them through a hedge backwards in the morning, but by 1:40 it’s like someone spread a rumour that Andrew Garfield was in the building. The best part though has got to be the surreal amount of make-up they layer on their faces. How do they not notice the obvious orange divide between their neck and their face? I will never understand.

This is where the very bitchy phrase “Plastics” comes from. Well, the movie ‘Mean Girls’ also helped, but you know what I mean. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term, it’s us girls way of insulting other girls that cover themselves in make-up, dress up as sluts all year round (regardless of the season/weather), and hate all the friends in their group. Oh and they take it in turns going out with each other’s ex-boyfriends. Any names come to mind now? In the music video for ‘Misery Business’ by Paramore, there’s a great metaphor for girls like that. Hayley (the lead singer) gets a cloth and wipes the whore (pardon my French) of the school’s face, wiping away all her make-up and with that her supposed good looks and apparent arrogance. It just shows that yes, maybe by decorating yourself in fake looks you’ll get a guy, but what happens when he wakes up before you in the morning and sees your true colours? Just saying.

To be fair, the majority of girls aren’t all those things I’ve spoken about. Maybe they have one or two of those traits, but that’s understandable. Sorry fellas but you’ll never find a girl immune to them. And if you do, you might want to check “her” medical records, ahem, if you know what I mean.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Suicide and Euthanasia: Are they really that similar?

Hollow steps, pacing the room
The depth of uncertainty is clear
Streams of sweat soak into her dress,
Laced with withdrawal and fear.

A quiet whisper shatters the silence
The same one that’s to thank for this day,
Goading her onwards, her only support
She’ll find comfort, finally, this way.

Her gentle footsteps leave lasting marks
Like the ones that decorate her arms
A cry for help when her voice was muted,
“For attention” was her bodily harm.

No-one understands the pain she feels
But that voice, the one in her head,
The one that’s witnessed all of her suffering
The one persuading her she’ll find relief; dead.

One last glance out the window pane
At the life she once valued the most,
She closes the curtains, shuts out the world,
Welcoming the spirit of her ghost.

Standing on the chair she spots a mirror
For a split second, feeling quite reminiscent..
Looks at herself, she forces a smile
Her crystal blue eyes still they glisten,
Taking that step, darkness is revealed,
All she wanted was for someone to listen.

It was only by chance that I found out Suicide Awareness Day was September 10th this year. I stumbled upon a social network status about it, and was somewhat ashamed of myself for not realizing the day that was upon us until it was almost over. I went to bed that night, disappointed that I hadn’t contributed my support to such a great cause. Within seconds, I had this very pen in my hand and was writing the first few lines of the poem you just read. Those that didn’t read it, yes you may scroll up and do so now.
Not that I was ever directly affected by suicide, but even the element of knowing people in my community have been was enough to spark my interest in this subject. The amount of suicides you hear about on a regular basis is frightening. If you hear a familiar name, your whole body goes numb for a split second or longer. You may not have known them, but you knew of them and that’s enough to strike a chord in anyone’s heart. In one particular case I had been with the person only a few days before, and they seemed fine. “Seemed” being the vital word there. You never really know what’s going on in someone’s mind. The scary thing is it’s always the people you least expect. The ones who appear happiest. But that’s the killer part (excuse the pun) isn’t it? It is said that the individuals are at their happiest a few days prior; they know the pain won’t last much longer.
I would guess most of you reading this assume suicide rates are highest in teens and young adults. You and I are both wrong on this occasion. Suicide rates are highest in people over the age of sixty-five. Studies also show that while women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to be successful. The following is a list of only a few groups that have high suicide risk factors:
  • Older people who have lost a spouse through death or divorce
  • People who have attempted suicide in the past
  • People with a family history of suicide
  • People with a friend or co-worker who committed suicide
  • People with a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • People with long-term pain, or a disabling or terminal illness
  • People in certain professions, such as police officers and health care providers who work with terminally ill patients
Although suicide is a horrendous last resort, in some cases it is understandable. What I am referring to, is euthanasia; the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. Take for example, the recent case of Tony Nicklinson, 58, in August of this year. Tony is paralysed from the neck down and has described his life as a “living nightmare” since he suffered a stroke in 2005. Yet the High Court in England denied him the right to end his life with the assistance of professional medics. His is not the only case to be turned down. Other cases occurred in 2001 and 2002, but also a successful one in 2004.
If people ask the question “Is euthanasia just?” there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone will have their own opinion and two-pence to share on the delicate subject, as have I. In my opinion, it should be entirely up to the patient themself. The prosecution and judges are not the ones that are suffering on a daily basis, yet they get to influence and decide whether or not a person’s life can be ended. I can understand that they want to be seen as pro-life, but at the end of the day they’re the ones that can walk out of the courthouse and forget about Mr.Nicklinson’s case for a while. Tony on the other hand needs assistance in every aspect of his life. He has no independence whatsoever. I bet if we put one of those judges in a wheelchair for the day, they wouldn’t last an hour. Add on top of that the inability to speak or communicate efficiently. It’s unbearable to even suggest someone stays like that for a day, nevermind a lifetime.
What I’m trying to say is that there are two sides to suicide. I’m not suggesting one is right and the other is wrong, but maybe we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about a person just because you heard they took their own life. Maybe what we should really be thinking about is why didn’t we notice their pain, what could we have done, and is there anyone that needs our support right now.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Bullying: A Legal Crime

I pose a question for you: Have you ever witnessed an encounter you would consider, hmm… out of line? I presume the answer is yes. Friends having a small argument; no big deal. Tripping over a misplaced leg; accidents happen. Getting shouldered in the corridors; it was busy. Books getting knocked off tables; once doesn’t mean anything. But what if these weren’t once-offs? Having “LIAR” engraved in your desk. Can you tell where this is going? Bullying can be so subtle, and it isn’t always the kids that go home with the black eye that hurt the most. But us Irish folk have adapted this wonderful phrase that goes something like “Ah he’ll be grand”. Will he? Are you with him every night, as he screams into his pillow and turns to self-harming as an escape? Still think he’ll be grand?

Statistics in Ireland show that 175,000 (or one in every four) secondary school pupils are bullied. Globally, as many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied. The next set of statistics I’m going to show you disgust me and I hope most of you feel the same: Adult intervention- 4%, peer intervention- 11%, no intervention- 85%. Wow, just wow. Four per cent? Is that really the best we, as a nation can do?

I bet you’re so ashamed that you don’t want to hear anymore. Well, tough shit. Do you know what that four per cent means? Let me break it down for those that didn’t excel in mathematics: It means for every hundred children that are bullied, adults in Ireland only help four. Once again, wow. How can you continue using the line “Always tell an adult first”? Going by the statistics, we’re better off telling our friends while waiting in the queue behind ninety-five other kids.

*Before I go any further, I’m just clarifying that I am in no way or form demoting telling an authority figure. This is simply one scenario. One personal experience*

Nevertheless, telling authority figures doesn’t always solve the problem. I’m sure most secondary schools have an “Anti-Bullying Charter”, yes? My school does. You can’t miss it because it’s everywhere. It’s in the halls, in the classrooms; it’s even in our school diary. We even have to sign a Code of Behaviour. But none of this is ever really taken into consideration when it’s needed most. As I stand here looking at the charter, I can tell you honestly I have experienced all five types of bullying on the list: Physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, e-bullying, and damage of personal property. Yet when the bullies and I were confronted about it (for about the seventh time, and only after me practically begging the principal to help) we were both accused of “being at each other”. And that was that. No consequences for their actions.

Let me give you one example of how lax my school was about it all. This one I find quite disturbing to recall. Picture this: Principal, vice principal, two other girls and I, sitting in the board room. As I sit there with silent tears streaming down my face, I tell the so-called “authority figures” that I have been receiving abuse online. Somehow, the principal(s) thought it was the appropriate time to announce how they didn’t have Facebook accounts, and then joke with the girls opposite them about how they should set them up. Quite sick, isn’t it?

Basically what I’m trying to say is that there’s never one specific ‘go to’ person. Nothing can guarantee the bullying will stop immediately. But one thing is certain- it won’t last forever. That’s such a cliché but it’s true. If you witness bullying, talk to the person and make sure they’re okay, even if you don’t know them. They will remember that, trust me on this one. If you’re currently being bullied, tell someone. Anyone. Even if you feel it might not be what’s considered “typical” bullying. It all adds up. If anything, I’m living proof.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Does Love Have an Age Limit?

How I love asking people that question. The answers are so broad; they can go from one extreme to the other. Some people think being in love “properly” is the months leading up to the smitten boyfriend (or girlfriend; whatever you’re into) popping the question. Therefore in their opinion, love does not begin until the age of 35 (the average age people are married by in Ireland). Others, however, have copped on to my backhanded question and simply tell me straight out that yes, I am too young to have experienced love. Little do they know, I have. Twice.

It’s quite a magical thing isn’t it, being in love. You can’t compare it to any other feeling out there. It’s never just a case of “Ooh we’ve been together five months and eleven days, I must be in love”. No. It’s not just an emotion; love, it’s a physical feeling too. The only way I can describe it is, it’s like a current of electricity tingling in your chest, pulsing through every inch of your body, forcing a smile on your face or a breath to be taken. Sometimes both.

A lot of people have told me they feel what is known as “butterflies” in their stomachs when they first have feelings for someone. This sensation can so often be mistaken as love. However, getting butterflies is basically your minds way of saying “aaaaahhhhh!”  This mash-up of nerves and excitement sometimes leads to people thinking their heart has been broken when the relationship ends because they were “so in love, I swear”. Darling trust me, if your heart was broken you wouldn’t be making statuses about it on Facebook every two hours.

To be totally honest, I find it hard to name one major sign that you’re in love. In my opinion, it’s more about the little gestures than the big ones. Unless it’s marriage, obviously.

For example, remembering they like two spoons of sugar in their coffee. Or putting a duvet over them if they fall asleep watching a movie. Crying because you miss them and they stand there hugging you telling you you’ll see them soon. On the other hand, people do a lot of stupid things that they think is a sign of love:

1.       Breakfast in Bed:  Aww isn’t that cute? Not really. It’s actually a health hazard. Are you trying to choke her on that piece of toast?

2.       Giving him/her your jacket:  This makes me cringe. I mean, when they said they were cold, how do you know they wanted your jacket? Maybe their legs were cold. Not so quick to take off your trousers are you.

3.       Vouchers just don’t cut it:  Think you’re so thoughtful giving him a voucher for Jack Jones? Or a Debenhams voucher for the Mrs? You’re not. That’s an indirect way of saying “Yes I know you’d like something in there… But I can’t be arsed so go find it yourself. Happy 10th anniversary”. Feel bad now?



Maybe I’m alone in this theory, but I think young love can sometimes be the strongest and the most real. I’m clearly biased you say? I resent that. Believe me, I’m well aware that most couples my age (or younger) are clueless as to what a real relationship entails. And they can’t tell their hormones apart from their hearts.

But to be fair, a small amount of teens actually take their relationships seriously. When you put it into perspective, most teenage romances last up to what, two years? Two and a half? Some adults don’t even wait four months and they’re already engaged. So you’re trying to tell me that it’s okay for a couple to say they’re in love after two months because they’re over the age of thirty, and yet people my age (16, by the way) could be together two years but they can’t possibly be in love because they’re “too young” to know what love is. You know what I say to that? Bullshit.

Young adults (Yes, I refer to myself as that) these days have the technology that allows them to speak and be in contact with their boyfriend/girlfriend twenty four hours a day. For example, a typical weekend day for a teenage relationship would involve the following: Texting in the morning before meeting up, spending the whole day as Siamese twins, texting the minute they part, and maybe a phone call before bed to end the day. Then the whole process starts over again in the morning. People underestimate how much time we teenagers can spend with our high-school sweetheart, both physically (by that I mean in person) and virtually. It quite literally is two years of constant communication. Compare that to a few dates here and there over a few months. I think you’ll find proof that it is possible for young love to be in fact stronger than “real love”. Whatever that is.

If you have read all of my strongly opinionated blog then you will have come to the same conclusion as I: No, love does not have an age limit. Those that insist it does either haven’t experienced it themselves yet and are jealous of well, me, or they are just stubborn feckers and no matter how many times I prove them wrong they will always be right. C’est la vie.

Everyone Deserves A Second Chance

If I was to go around to each person in my class and ask them if they had ever lied, been in trouble, or done something they wish they hadn’t, I’m positive each person would tell their own story with a sigh.

Mistakes are unavoidable in life. Every person has been through a time where they’ve been caught lying, or they’ve hurt someone. That’s not to say these are bad people. They’re simply good people that made bad choices. I am also fully confident that if you gave those people a chance to go back and make the decision again, they would make the right one. I believe everyone can learn from their mistakes and become a better person. But that in itself is a decision many people refuse or are afraid to make.

For example, if you hurt someone it’s you that made the mistake and therefore it’s you that must find a way to fix the relationship. Usually that can be done by apologizing. Sometimes, depending on the person, it may be talked through and then put aside. But on a rare occasion you will find people who refuse to apologize. The ones that insist it wasn’t their fault and cannot come to terms with the consequences their actions have resulted in. People like this cannot handle the responsibility they have to fix things and eventually find themselves pushing the most loved people in their life away, just because they can’t face the reality of the pain they’ve caused someone.

As this person deals with this mental block, the person they hurt has moved on. By the time you are ready to apologize, the relationship will have faded away and “sorry” will not cut it.

Imagine you are the person that experienced the mental block. You’re only just ready to face the world again when this rejection hits you without warning. People may tell you without an ounce of sympathy “that’s what you get” or “it’s your own fault”, and it may be true. But no matter how much you’ve hurt that person, the guilt hurts a hell of a lot more.

Then the panicking begins. “Should I apologize again?” “What will I say?” “Will they ever forgive me?” and the worst of all, “Do they even need me anymore?” …

This is where second chances come in. if a relationship is worth crying over, it’s surely worth the fight to fix it. Now that’s easier said than done. Depending on how close of a relationship it was, both sides may equally want to sort things out. On the other hand, there may be fears of being hurt again. This can result in a lack of trust in the relationship and unwanted tension. This is when both people need room to think. Thinking is not a short process and will not be resolved overnight. It could take months or even years. Both may get to a stage where they’re constantly thinking and stressing about it, and want to completely forget about it.

But if that person played a huge part in your life that will never happen. No matter how hard you try you won’t forget the joy that person brought you just by being a part of your life. You can burn the pictures, block their number, or even move away. But something will always follow you: the memories. Thoughts constantly race through our minds and are one of the few things we cannot control in life.

My personal opinion on second chances is quite straightforward. I believe everyone can change. But only if they, themselves want to change. Having said that, changing is not always the hard part. Being brave enough to give someone a second chance deserves the most praise. Anyone can change if they realize who they are, is not who they want to be. Giving someone a second chance involves no changing. It involves much more.

Trusting that the person has changed, trusting you’re making the right decision, showing the confidence and belief you have in that person are all hard to do if that very person has hurt you. But by giving that person the opportunity to fix what went wrong and allowing them back into your life, you are not only helping them learn from their mistake, but you are also teaching them one of the hardest tasks in life: forgiveness. Everyone needs forgiveness to function on a daily basis. They will be forever grateful for this as someday they might be in the position of deciding whether to forgive or not.

I myself, along with every other person in this world, have been in need of a second chance. Some are lucky enough to receive a second chance, others are still in wait. I can honestly say I have experienced both. The feeling of forgiveness is like no other. The pure relief and joy is overwhelming. I can proudly say I am a better person from that forgiveness, and because of my own personal experience, though it may seem biased, I think everyone deserves a second chance.