Breaking out of Lockdown

Hurled into isolation, I watch, flabbergasted, as pressures upon my previously high-stress, high-speed life change form. Suddenly, instead of needing to be an academically brilliant; highly attractive, consumeristic, eco-warrior socialite, suddenly I must become an online fitness fanatic; the inseparable friend of my quarantine companions, and incessantly; impossibly positive. Continue reading

Living vicariously

Sometimes, the stream of words pouring out of StarPlus Library Catalogue ripples into daily life, instead of neatly pooling into whichever essay I am pouring over. Through trying to wrap my mind around theories concerning the “postcolonial autobiography”, I discovered a disturbing idea. In some North African cultures, “I” is equivalent to “we”[1]. I bristled at the thought. I like being an individual! I like referring to myself; my ideas, my experiences. Being unique makes me feel significant. If my listener were to understand “we” whenever I mentioned myself, I would suddenly become indistinguishable from my surrounding family; friends, university. I had no desire to blandly blur into the background.

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In praise of disability

Disability and identity very easily become intertwined. Initially, having a handicap meant that I saw myself as “weak”; “limited” and defined by my wrist’s parameters. The obvious solution was denial. Pain was there to be pushed through: to prove that I was “stronger”; and refusing to submit. Gradually, my wrists stopped bending to my will: they either locked onto objects and refused to relinquish them, or they gave up altogether. Pens, scissors; screwdrivers, cutlery slipped through my fingers and clattered onto the floor. Repeatedly waking up in the night with searing pain from my fingers to my elbows, I gave in. Punishment was making me weaker. I had to work with my wrists if I was going to overcome them.

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Pachamama and the cross

As a third-year language student working in the Peruvian Andes, my year has been full of the unpredictable. As I continually push myself out of my comfort zone: roaming the mountains, and delving into life’s deep questions, I find my worldview transforming. This is an account of a day that changed who I am. This is a day that taught shattered my fear of strangers and my fear of “otherness.” This is a day that helped me discover that some of the biggest life lessons happen when you least expect them.

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