Striving to reach your goals

EUA levam ouro na ginástica artística feminina; Brasil fica em 8º lugar
Simone Biles, 5 times Olympic Medallist

In this post I wanted to talk about striving to achieve your goals and the challenges and sacrifices that you may need to make along the way. You might be wondering why there’s a picture of Simone Biles at the beginning of the post, well recently I’ve had a bit more time on my hands and I’ve watched a lot of her past competitions and interviews on Youtube. I’ve found it very motivating to watch her hard work and dedication to gymnastics turn into success. It has given me the extra push that I need to complete my Masters over the next year. It’s crazy isn’t it how I’m not an athletic person but I find, often at times the greatest inspiration from Sports personalities. I also used this picture to demonstrate just how much you can achieve if you motivate yourself and work hard. 

Nothing in life is easy, guarantee you are going to have to work hard to achieve the things that you really want in life. Whether it be to be an astronaut or to get married and have children, whatever you big life goal is you are not going to be able to get there without a bit of hard work and dedication. Along the way you’ll face set backs and may even want to give up but think about what you’d miss out on if you do. I was watching the Gabby Douglas Story yesterday (you can tell that Gymnastics is becoming my new obsession), and towards the end of the movie Gabby wanted to return home from Iowa where she was preparing for the Olympics and stop her training. Think about what would have happened if she had done that. Gabby wouldn’t have become the first African American to win the All Round event at the Olympics. Of course not everyone’s goal is to win a gold medal but no matter how ‘small’ the world views your ambition, if you’re willing and ready to work for it, your dreams can never be small. Who is this all mighty human who decides whose dreams are ‘small’ and who decides whose are greater and more important than said ‘small’ ones? That person doesn’t exist. 
 
The first thing I would say about striving for your goals is- know how to get there. Make sure you have a detailed plan with everything you need to do in order to achieve your goals. Think carefully about the amount of time it will take you to achieve your dreams because you will need to consider the other things in your life that you might need to slot around your plans. For example, if you are striving for a goal that will take you over 5 years to achieve, but you have childcare to consider or you want to have a child by that time you’ll need to consider how you are going to work things out. You’ll also need to consider all your other commitments in your life, for example work, that way you know what time you can give to achieving your goals. You won’t be able to do everything that you want all of the time so prepare to give things up. Drawing on my experience as a student, living 40 miles away from home has meant that I’ve had to sacrifice seeing my family, friends and my boyfriend as much as I would like. I am very privileged in the fact that I can go home one weekend and my boyfriend will come up the following. It’s not as big of a sacrifice as other students make but nevertheless it can be hard when one weekend you can’t see your significant other or your family because you each have prior commitments or you have too much studying to do. Giving up your free time to your studies or your ambitions is always worth it because you will always achieve at the end of it. After finishing my degree I got a 2:1 and therefore reached my goal of getting a place on my Masters Course. So no matter what I had to sacrifice, it paid off in the end.
 
When thinking about what you need to do to achieve your goals you need to think about-where? Where are you going to have to be in order to achieve your goals? If you are going to have to move a great distance to achieve your goals you will have to think logistically about how you are going to get there and how much it would cost for you to be there. This is important because again it will give you a great indication as to how long it will take you to achieve your goals. There may be a period of time where you need to save some money to get there and therefore its important that you are aware of this from the beginning. That way you will save time in the long run. 
 
The final thing and perhaps the most important thing I would say, is to ignore the haters. There are always going to be people who try to dismiss you and tell you that you can’t get to where you need to go. Don’t pay them any attention, they have no right to tell you what you can and can’t do.  If you want something badly enough, and are willing to focus all your energy into making sure that you get there; who can stop you? The only person that can stop you from achieving is yourself. No matter how many loud mouths, know it alls or just generally annoying people tell you that you will fail- their words should have no power over you. When people try to belittle you and your ambitions, you should use this to push you further. When you’re having a bad day and you want to give up think about the haters and all the bad things that they say about you and use that as your motivation to achieve. Just think about how sweet it will be when you get there and you can say ‘I told you so’. 
 
If you have a dream and you’re sitting there thinking- it’s too late. Its not. Think of it this way, Simone Biles has said in interviews that her starting gymnastics at the age of 6 was coming to the sport late. Now she’s won 4 gold medals and one bronze at the Olympic Games. So tell that little voice in the back of your head to be quiet and get achieving. Who knows you could leave a historic mark on your chosen field, just like Simone.
 
This has been through the looking glass, until the next time.
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The Summer watch list Drought

We all know that TV’s a bit slow in the summer with most seasons and most new ones beginning again the October. We all love the summer, hot weather, cocktails, holidays, tanning, BBQ’S. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to do this throughout the whole summer, so naturally at times we find ourselves sitting in front of the TV screen trying to figure out what to watch. What do we find? Very little. Even our good pal Netflix or Amazon Prime has its downfalls. You either, spend half the night trying to find something to watch, or you end up watching something you’ve seen a million times before. Why do we do that? I should really say- why do I do that? Why do I fall into this state of comfortability of just re-watching things I’ve already seen? Why do I constantly go through cycles of never actually trying anything new? Well tonight’s going to change all that. Tonight I’m going to sit down and relax and watch something I’ve never seen before.

But….

How do I find this said TV show or film? How in the blistering dessert that is the UK right now do I find something worthy of watching? How do I prevent myself from endlessly scrolling through netflix or the tv channels until I find something that I’m itching to watch. That’s the thing about the summer, your excitement for good TV or Films just isn’t there in the same way that it is during the more colder months. Or is that just me? Am I the only one who doesn’t enjoy TV the same way in the summer as I do in the Winter? Maybe it’s because I’m not studying at the minute and its suddenly sinking in that I have so much more free time than I usually do. Even with applying for jobs, working and cracking on with my summer reading lists, I still have a mass of amount of time that’s going to waste. So guys, if you happen to be reading this please comment below on what you would suggest to watch or even what you would suggest to do with all this free time I suddenly have.

This has been through the looking glass. I hope there’s someone on the other side of the glass.

Till the next time,

Alice impersonator.

The Hate U Give Book Review *SPOILER FREE

Hello again,

As usual I’ve needed a study break and ended up here. 2 weeks since my last post, which is far too long to go without writing for pleasure. Anyways, swiftly moving along, as you can see from the title this post is a spoiler free book review on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book, what can I say about this amazing, tremendous, beautiful book. Angie Thomas has raised the bar so high for her future publications and I’m sure that a writing talent like Angie, she can exceed and surpass all the expectations. I cannot wait for her next book to be published.

Around a month ago I picked up The Hate U Give, as a way of giving me a bit of a break after studying so much. I walked into my local Waterstones with the intention of buying and reading this marvelous book. I am a huge fan of Hannah over at a Clockwork Reader on youtube and heard about The Hate U Give over on her channel. I watch her videos almost as a way to make a mental list of all the books I want to read the second I’m not too busy anymore. If you love reading and want to hear about a great range of books, head over to Hannah’s channel and check her out. I will leave a link to her channel in this blog somewhere so you can take a gander and see if you like her content. Anyway, I’ve heard Hannah recommend The Hate U Give for a while now and put it in the back of my mind, that I needed to read the book the second I got chance to. Well I wouldn’t really say it was in the back of my mind, because I was thinking about reading this book all the time.

Going into reading this book I had high expectations already because I knew that this book was tackling important and prominent issues that we deal with in today’s story. Just a basic plot summary, the story follows Starr, a 16 year old who lives in a fictionalised town called Garden Heights. On her way back from a party she watches her best friend Khali get shot and the rest of the narrative unfolds because of Khali’s murder. I could go on and explain more but I don’t want to give too much of the plot away. The book is mainly dealing with why Black Lives Matter and the ways in which society does not value the lives of black people in the same way that it values the lives of white people. This book is so culturally relevant at the moment, its almost as if you are watching the events unfold on the News because Khali’s murder is not detached from everyday life; hate crime is something that we see all the time on the News. There were 6,121 recorded instances of Hate Crimes within the US in 2016, which means that 6,121 people have either lost their lives or their lives have been permanently affected due to the colour of their skin, religion, gender or sexuality.  This number is only the recorded instances, I can only imagine the number of cases that either just go unrecorded due to fear or are covered up by the people that are meant to protect you. To say that this isn’t a problem is just completely and utterly naive and I think Angie Thomas has done a wonderful job at raising awareness on how bad this issue actually is.

The Hate U Give allows you to get to know Starr during the aftermath of Khali’s murder, so you almost feel as though you know Starr when reading the story and therefore feel the injustice she feels when her best friend is murdered for no other reason than the colour of his skin. Of course, me being a white 21 year old, I will never fully understand the ways in which black people feel when murders or other hate crime offences like these take place. The power of being able to see these events unfold through the eyes of a young black teen like Starr was so overwhelmingly powerful. After reading this novel I have had this need to help people in anyway that I can and try to prevent crimes like this from happening. This book shook my very foundations and now after reading it I will never be the same.

Other than the horrific unjust murder of Khali, the thing that stood out to me the most about this book was the subject of voice and what it means to have a voice. Having a voice is something that we all have the right too and yet people will always try and prevent us from using our voice or manipulate our voices in order to protect themselves and justify their actions. This book will make you angry, angry at the people who try and make Starr feel as though her voice is something in which can be manipulated or changed to suit their own ends. This book will make you angry at the fact that people can get away with this and that there is rarely any consequences for their actions. Angie Thomas has given a voice to the voiceless in the same way in which Toni Morrison gave a voice to Sethe and her family in Beloved. What a wonderful and beautifully compelling thing that is.

The Hate U Give is the perfect debut novel and one in which I am sure will soon become a modern day classic. Angie Thomas can tug at your heartstrings like nothing else and sheds even more light on the current issues that we face in today’s society. Angie Thomas makes you aware of the fact that society has come a very long way and yet we still have so much further to go, we cannot just stop trying and being happy with the change that’s been made; we have to fight until things are truly equal. Angie Thomas- you are a literary genius and one of my favourite authors ever.

This book deserves nothing less than a 5 Star rating, I would even go as far to give it a 20  star rating if that was a thing.

Just before finishing the blog, I completely understand that the subject matter of this book is very sensitive and I have not intended to offend anyone when writing this blog. If I have in anyway shape or form I am truly sorry, that was not my intention at all I just wanted to review this marvelous book.

Please if you haven’t read this book give it a try. It will change everything.

Oh and before I forget here’s a link to Hannah’s channel if you wanted to watch her videos at all-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYejuNiTTA3yCxVSOTyj7yA

Angie Thomas- The Hate U Give was and forever shall be everything. One of the most powerful, heart wrenching, thought provoking books I have ever read. Thank you. I am with you completely- Black Lives have always and will always matter. We cannot stop fighting until justice has been served.

Adios for now,uat until the next time.

Facebook Rant!!!

Lets talk about what everyone is talking about- the facebook scandal. I don’t know the ins and outs of this but its really rattled my cage. Privacy is a basic right and one in which we DESERVE to be entitled too. Why are there privacy settings on facebook if they are so willing to deprive us all of privacy? WHY WHY WHY FACEBOOK WHY? How are any of us meant to trust facebook again? We aren’t.

Think of this, you need to confide in your friend or your partner about something private and personal, how are you meant to trust that the higher powers at facebook won’t be monitoring your conversations. Your privacy was pulled away from under your feet to sway an election; what else can facebook do if its willing to manipulate its users into its bidding? I personally don’t feel comfortable sharing anything personal about my life on facebook anymore. Not like I ever did share massive amounts on facebook, just the odd picture of me with friends or me and my boyfriend, or whatever but on messenger I did on occasion. Are you just sitting there Mark Zuckerbeg laughing at all the data you’ve collected of all our personal things, mocking us because we don’t own a billion dollar company?

In the of chance Mark ever reads this I have a few choice words for him.

Do not- expect privacy for yourself when you’ve deprived so much privacy from all of us. You lost the right to privacy the second you stole away all of ours from us.

Please- block my facebook account. Blocking the people who have stood up against your bullshit doesn’t make what you did go away. You have to ultimately live with what you’ve done.

Think- Is this the mark you want to leave on the world? Is this how you want to be remembered? If not- only you can make this right. If you just aren’t bothered and couldn’t care less then seriously sit there and think how you would feel if someone manipulated all your private moments. Not nice is it.

So there it was, my facebook rant. Please note these are just my opinions, if you don’t agree with them that’s fine. I am in no way shape or form trying to upset those who are reading this, this is just what I was feeling.

Please let me know what you think. I love to get feedback.

Thank you for reading, see you next time.

Why travel without moving your feet?

I was sat editing my dissertation when I came to a bit of an impasse. Ever get to that point where everything falls out of your head, and you’re just staring at your computer screen hoping your ideas will find their way back into your head? I do. It’s a sign I need to take a break. So here I am putting myself out there, sending this blog post out into the void of the internet, not knowing who will read it; if anyone does. But if you are reading this then, Hello. I’ve tried blogging before but I’ve always kind of lost touch with it along the way. I don’t know why, I guess I just run out of things to say. But here I am again taking a wack at this internet craze, hoping I don’t lose touch with it again. So what’s my big and bright idea for a blog this time; Travel without moving your feet. What is that you may ask? That is a quote from The Namesake. The full quote is- ‘That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet’ . My idea is to write posts where you don’t even have to move your feet to experience things. You can just sit, read and let your mind do the travelling for you. Thank you Jhumpa Lahiri for the quote that gave me the idea.

I’m in no way claiming to be a good enough writer to open up your imagination in such a way where you can travel without moving your feet, that’s just my aspiration when it comes to this blog. I guess that’s the hopes of any writer, to widen people’s imagination enough so they can experience new and exciting things. Where they can look through the looking glass and see a world unlike anything seen before. I think imagination holds the key to breaking down barriers so it’s important to encourage the use of it. That’s what travelling without your feet is to me; using your imagination, enjoying reading and indulging in an experience. I’m not telling you to love my work, hate it by all means, just experience it. Let your imagination take over.

Stay tuned for more.

imagination

Adios for now.

P.S I liked how the image I inserted (copyright free) seems to show a story coming to life by falling of the page. That’s what I hope to do one day with a story I tell, make the words come alive in the minds of the reader.