An Open Letter to Damien Echols

Damien,

I doubt you’ll even see this post, let alone read it but I want to share your story, and the effect it’s had, with everyone I know. I find myself even asking people if they’ve heard of the Robin Hood Hills murders simply to talk about you.

I was first introduced to the case when I saw Devils Knot on TV. Naturally, one’s interest peaks when hearing a film is based on a true story, so hear me out before you dismiss this as just another superficial fangirl who only got her information from wikipedia and the wm3 website. I didn’t realise the enormity of the case, or the horrendous details of it either until I carefully researched the murders inside out, including looking at crime scene photos, crime lab photos/reports, evidence reports and interview transcripts.

Watching Devils Knot in no way influenced my view on your guilt or innocence, Damien. It was just another ‘true story’ drama. Understanding the details of the case helped me come to the conclusion that you are innocent. But I’m not writing this to tell you how well I know your case because no one knows it better than you. People are so quick to judge you as being guilty, even having the audacity to cite evidence and reports, but we’re all bystanders in a fight that should never have been initiated in the first place.

Your life was stripped from you for nearly two decades and you still managed to find the strength to share your experience with the world. Critics say your biography isn’t written well, it doesn’t flow or have “transition”, and it’s “bitter.” If I spent 18 years in prison, I’d be bitter too, to say in the least. More so than not, I’m finding people attacking your style of writing and I think people are forgetting that you are a human being first.

What’s more enchanting is your ability to find light in your darkest hours. You pushed forward despite the ever-growing number of obstacles pulling you back, and that’s something I can’t possibly fathom. I’m full of nothing but gratitude and admiration for you.

I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: thank you. Thank you for finding it within yourself to share your brightest and darkest hours with the world, and for standing true to yourself in the face of disgusting corruption. I can only wish you a lifetime of peace with the monsters who put you in those cells and with the battles you fight on a daily basis.

And to the three angels who lost their lives in such devastatingly tragic circumstances, I pray you are resting peacefully. May you get the justice you so desperately deserve. You will never be forgotten.

Anisah

 

“Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

Sigh.

I was on Facebook not too long ago and came across someone saying this. Multiple times. And I began to get increasingly frustrated with its context.

In this age of crash dieting, juice diets and fitness fads, there’s a slight issue which continues to crop up on my social media accounts and hits a nerve. Recently, I was told about a new “way to lose weight.” I’m not going to name the company but their suggested method of losing weight is to take their “capsules” which supposedly contain “30 kinds of fruits, berries and vegetables” that you take daily. Instead of eating food during the day, they advise you to drink their milkshakes which are also “plant based and a healthy alternative to food.”

In other words, you pop two pills and drink milkshakes all day so the weight will drop.

I have never tried diet pills and I most certainly don’t intend to, so I cannot personally admit or deny their effectiveness. However, I have read reports by scientists, health experts and a personal trainer who have all agreed that this system does NOT work. You are essentially starving your body of necessary food groups such as fat and carbohydrates in order to shed a couple of pounds. The worse aspect; the pounds aren’t actually shed at all, but put back on once you eat normally.

In 2014 I developed an eating disorder. I stopped eating completely, lost so much weight that the doctors became concerned and recommended a complete lifestyle change.I also required therapy to work through and come to terms with what I was suffering with – I’ve underlined the word because going through something as damaging as an eating disorder never really leaves you. It remains in the back of your mind as a constant reminder of what once was: in some ways, it still haunts me. When I look at pictures of myself on holiday, I grimace at the bones sticking out. It’s one of the worst things anyone can go through.

That is why I’m so against diet pills and more specifically, the idea of someone starving themselves to lose weight. Furthermore, over the last year or so, I’ve managed to turn my life around despite all the health conditions I’ve run into along the way. Like most people, I work my absolute hardest to be a healthy weight and a healthy person in general. They do say that if you’re not soaked in sweat, you’re not doing it right! There’s simply no easy way to lose weight.

The company I referred to above work as promoters for their products; their employees talk about the benefits of their products and how becoming a part of their team is the best thing you can do. Ultimately, they’re working from home (ideal, right?) by selling products to desperate women predominantly. They also get paid a HELL of a lot for conning customers. This is where I saw the titled remark of working smarter rather than harder, and thus is the point of my article.

Duping customers is not in my nature and certainly won’t open as many doors as my current job has. Starving my body will not make me as healthy as doing exercise and eating healthy will.

A x

 

A Summer of Love

I’ll remember that summer as the summer of love. It’s defined by the taste of your coffee-stained lips under a city sunset and falling in love with eyes so deep, floating amidst Venus. I’ll remember that summer by the touch of your fingertips tracing an intoxicating path down my shirt. I’ll remember that summer as the summer I fell in love with the idea of falling for someone as endearing as you.

Liebstar Award!

Having spent this week recovering from another attack of pancreatitis, I was overwhelmed to find that Star of Persia had nominated me for the Liebstar Award! Please please please check out her blog as it’s fascinatingly intellectual; her pieces are a great read! This is the second nomination I’ve had since starting my website, so bear with me whilst I fangirl a little at being nominated.

I understand there are a few rules to this award, so here they are:

1. You must include a link to the person who nominated you for this award

2. There are certain questions put forward to the nominee which require answering

3. You are required to nominate up to 11 bloggers

4. Put forward 11 questions for those who are nominated by yourself

Here are Star of Persia’s questions put forward to me!

For what reason did you begin to blog? 

I’ll let you into a little secret; it was never my decision to set up a blog! My colleague at the time helped me set up a WordPress blog, telling me it would boost my google ratings and make me easier to find, if one was to search my name on search engines. I went through with it after I uploaded a few of my pieces and was rewarded with a warm reception. Since then, my website and I have been inseparable 🙂

Three words to describe yourself and why? 

Compassionate. Ambitious. Dedicated. If I care about someone, I make sure they’re happy no matter what. I make sure they’re aware of how loved they are; even if they’ve wronged me in anyway, I’ll forgive them. I also strive to achieve the life goals I’ve set myself; I intend on teaching abroad and I’ll do whatever I can to help make it happen! Lastly, I’m dedicated; to my degree, to the ones I love, to my blog and to my career.

Favourite place of all time?

I have to break the rules slightly and give you two favourite places as I can’t possibly decide between the two! I visited Amalfi, Italy last year and the town was beautiful. One of the best holidays I had ever been on; I had a lot going on back home in London and Italy was the perfect retreat to get my head straight. The people were lovely, the food was exceptional and the views were like no other. Highly recommend! My second favourite place has to be the Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square, London. I visited it recently, this July, and had the most amazing time; having been three times already, the gallery never fails to appeal to the artist within me. It’s inspiring to say in the least. I also had exceptional company that day, which made it one of the best visits to Saatchi. I see the gallery as a place where social inequalities meet modern art and it never fails to fascinate me.

Foods I couldn’t live without?

Probably any kind of chicken. I’m a chicken girl. Anything chicken related

Favourite person and why?

My best friend is probably my favourite person. I only met her this year, in May actually, at work, and since we’ve started working together she’s been the one girl I couldn’t possibly live without. She’s been by my side through all my ups and downs (the latter of which there have been many, recently) and she’s the kind of person who’ll show up at my house one day after work and instantly make me feel better. We spend most of our time together and we’re off to Paris this Friday ! I adore her; she brings out the best in me and tells me everything as it is.

Favourite books? 

MY FAVOURITE QUESTION SO FAR.

(a) Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys (It fills in all the gaps in Jane Eyre)

(b) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (Not only does the author explicitly portray life in 20’s, with it’s social class divisions and inequality, but it also takes us on a journey of a man who would do anything to be reunited with the one he loves.)

(c) Poppet – Mo Hayder (One of the most terrifying psychological thrillers I have ever set my sights on. The novel questions everything you know and kept me up for weeks)

(d) Lullabies – Lang Leav (My favourite poet; she’s contemporary, sexy and edgy: exactly like her poetry. Her book pretty much retells the journey she went on when she fell in love and lost love, too. It’s very hard not to relate to the poems she writes, with such raw agony and emotion. One of the very few books which inspired me to write poetry and shaped the way I look at society today)

(e) Lament – Maggie Stiefvater (I was a 14 year old when I first read this book, and I’ve actually started re-reading it again. This was the first book in which I fell in love with one of the protagonists and felt what it must be like to indulge in a tragic love affair with someone you couldn’t possibly have.)

If you had once chance to do anything, what would it be?

Travel back in time. For one, I would change the person I was growing up. Looking back on my time spent in high school, I was controlled by a dictator-like authoritative figure or two who made my life a living hell. I was bullied beyond belief, and if I had the chance to, I would go back and stand up for myself. Secondly, if I could go back in time, I would stay the hell away from the people who I’ve now painfully lost; the people I’ve had to sit back and watch walk out of that door, never to return. Pain makes you grow as a person, but it hurts like a bitch.

Activities I enjoy? 

– Reading, although that might be a given. I’m forever being inspired by authors and the way they articulate their morals and life stories through protagonists.

– Writing, again possibly a given. Writing, for me, has been a form of therapy. It’s helped me come to terms with the health problems I have and the losses I’ve gone through. Turning someone or something into literature is quite possibly the best way of destroying them.

– Painting. I’ve intertwined this with my poetry and made a little scrapbook come art portfolio in which my inarticulate thoughts found themselves completely explicit on paper.

Biggest pet peeve?

Selfishness. I absolutely despise people who think their problems are bigger than anyone else. It’s another form of ignorance. I’ve come across too many people in life who think they’re the only ones who have suffered. Pathetic.

One thing I want to bring to people/the world’s attention? 

Inequality. This branches out in so many ways; sexism, racism, gender inequality. If we learn how to tackle inequality, the world will be a peace and there would be no violence, no murders and deaths of the innocent, no genocide and no terrorism. Not enough is being done to protect those in the firing line; those vulnerable to attacks which so often go unnoticed in the media. Of course the media is our worst enemy; we don’t see what THEY don’t want us to see. Once a majority, instead of minorities who get silenced for speaking out against oppression, speaks out against the inequalities of society, we can move forward. Until then, we are trapped in a  limbo of wanting to fight for our freedom but not having the manpower or the tools to do so.

If someone asked me for one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t look back. Ironic, considering I would love to go back in time. Move on, move forward from the person or people holding you back. We are worth so much more than the treatment we receive from the ones we hold closest to our hearts. I’ve been so deceived by people who I thought were positive influences in my life. Life is one big lesson, and we can only learn from it.

Now for my nominations! I nominate:

Sweaterk 

Shreya24x7

Ivebeenthere98

Khud Guzini 

The questions I put forward to you all are:

  1. What is your blog about?
  2. Why did you set up a blog?
  3. Where are you from? (not a stalker, I promise. I have no idea where half my followers are from!)
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
  5. Favourite book?
  6. Favourite blogger?
  7. Who is your role model in life?
  8. If you could travel to one place, where would it be?
  9. What is your blogging goal? Whether it be followers, views, subscribers etc
  10. Choose one word to describe yourself, and give a reason why.
  11. What is your most embarrassing moment?

I apologise for not uploading the questions the first time round! I completely forgot. I hope you enjoy picking your brains as much as I did whilst answering these questions.

Thanks once again to Star of Persia for nominating me.

Have a fantastic bank holiday!

Anisah x

“…take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.”

I stumbled across this quote a few nights ago, and it struck a chord with me; I guess it sounded more lyrical and less syntactical to me. I investigated this quote, which I saw was written by Frida Kahlo (although the origins are still debatable) a little further, and found there was a whole poem to it. The poem is now referred to as “Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell”, which I have re-written as an open letter. I hope you fall in love with it as I have!

Leaving you is not enough; you must stay gone. Train your heart like a dog. Change the locks even on the house he’s never visited. You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier match puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them, You had to have him. And you did. And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever alter you fashion with a knife and five cranberries. Don’t lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street. 

A Little Like This

It was like digging your nails into the earth over and over again, and coming up empty every time. Reaching into the core of your soul, and finding nothing to grasp hold of. I could scream his name a thousand times into the twilight, and twenty miles away, all he’d hear is the wailing creatures of the night. His darkness blinded my senses whilst his couldn’t be clearer. The light I gave him couldn’t have shone any brighter. How can one walk away from a person who left footprints, not fucking fingerprints, on your heart? He set me on fire and left me to choke on the smoke, retching on the ashes of our past.

And just like that, he was gone.