Original Poetry

You are all that you are
and all you are yet to become
and that is why
I love you.

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Original Writing

I have a grossly romanticised vision
of what we are like
and what we could be like
and it sickens me
because reality chases me
and wears me down
and tears me away
from the nostalgia
I’m so desperately trying
to create
in my own
head.

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Life Updates

Summer Update 2018 – Regent St

I can’t quite believe my time at Regent Street is fast-approaching its end! The past 3 months have been an absolute whirlwind of stress, excitement, tiredness, and happiness. (Cliche, I know.)

Whilst studying at Reading University, I started working in retail part-time. Before I knew it, June had arrived and I knew it was unfeasible to travel to and from Reading during the summer holidays (despite desperately not wanting to leave for 3 months!). I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work at the London store, which also happens to be the global flagship for the company, too. Going from a store where,  in total, there were 35 of us to a store of 125 members of staff was an absolute killer for my social anxiety, but the staff and management opened me with welcome arms.

Coming towards the end of my summer stint in central London, I can honestly look back and say this summer was one of the best I’ve had. Working full time in retail is exhausting but being able to work in a fast-paced environment with people who have become great friends is something I’ve been so blessed with. I was lucky enough to cross paths with managers who went out of their way to help me progress further within the company by training me up and most importantly, pushing me to better myself.

One of the categories within the store is sportswear and during the first month, I decided that would be the category to specialise in. Considering the company are always bringing out new collections and working on developing the category, I figured it would be a great place to start learning about how exactly retail works and what goes on behind the scenes. One of my managers, in particular, trained me up on everything sport-related, from USPs to KPIs to the technology of fabrics used; I never thought in a million years I’d be able to look back and say I’ve learned so much from working in retail and had such fun learning, too. I’m super excited to get back to Reading and put everything I’ve learned/been taught to good use!

Thanks for a beautifully wild summer, Regent Street. I’m sad to leave you behind.

(But let’s be honest, I am absolutely thrilled to be heading home to my Reading family soon!)

A x

[Featured Image: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10875969/Regent-Street-to-deploy-beacon-technology-in-shops.html]

 

 

 

 

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Current Affairs, Original Writing

‘Afflicted’ – A Netflix Original Series

I did all of this work just to get sick and not be able to live my dreams

A new Netflix series aired recently surrounding the stories of people suffering from chronic illnesses, undiagnosed or “unspecified” by medical professionals. Symptoms were extreme, leaving most of the participants of this docuseries unable to perform any of their daily activities.

Each person differentiates themselves from another through their symptoms, and the symptoms present themselves as different illnesses entirely – from the offset. The words “psychosomatic” and “Lyme Disease” are thrown around often through the episodes, suggesting a potential link between the participants, their symptoms, and the disease. I’ll leave the opinions of other participants to the general public, however. There’s one person in particular that I want to focus on.

We’re introduced to Jake in the third episode of the docuseries; an aspiring musician whose career was suddenly cut short due to the onset of symptoms linked to Lyme Disease. The beginning of the episode features Jake’s struggle in articulating his current symptoms to the camera, and as the episode progresses, the viewer is lead to understand the events which took place in his life but most importantly, how his life has been dramatically impacted because of his illness.

22 minutes into the episode, I had to stop watching. Any documentaries featuring people struggling with chronic illnesses hit a nerve, so to speak. The intention of this post, however, is most definitely not to associate my condition on any kind of level with those in the series. This post was to highlight the unimaginable trauma of those who may look physically well but are struggling with an uncontrollable and unpredictable illness, of which there is no cure yet and treatment which consists entirely of trial and error. Watching a relatively young man’s life turned upside down due to something both entirely out of his control and entirely unanticipated is definitely heart-wrenching. To see the ambitious light in his character gradually diminish – it puts everything into perspective.

Learning about stories such as that of Jake’s really makes me realise how lucky we are, how lucky I am. I can call myself a survivor, but am I really battling a condition of no known cure? No. Has my life been stripped from my hands overnight? No. I agree with one thing, in particular, the docuseries mentioned; those who are sick have a tendency to associate their identity with their illness. They’re not just a person anymore – they’re a sick person. I, too, have fallen victim to enshrouding myself in self-pity when, in retrospect, my health is improving, I am most certainly not bed-bound, and I do not rely on medication to essentially live. Those who have suffered from chronic illnesses, and/or chronic pain can definitely identify with the overwhelming trauma it leaves one with, even once they’ve overcome the worst of it. And perhaps this motto isn’t the healthiest to live by, but the documentary showed me how people undeniably have it much worse than people such as myself. Granted my health isn’t the best it could be at the moment, I’ve learned that relatively stable health is often taken at face value.

I intend to bring myself to complete the rest of Jake’s story. And he’s taught me just how lucky I truly am, to be able to live my life to its fullest potential – he’s given me perspective. I sincerely hope from the deepest of my heart that his story has a happy outcome.

The transience of life is all too often overlooked and underestimated. We have an overwhelming ability as a society to conceal ourselves behind issues which are ephemeral in comparison to others.

The series, in general, verges on the side of sensationalism as opposed to information and fact, but the stories of the participants raise some interesting questions in relation to chronic illnesses, pain and an array of unspecified symptoms.

A x

Featured image: Afflicted, Netflix Original Series (2018)
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