When you walk into a room, do you bring light or darkness? (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about this topic. This is part two. However, before you read this, please read part one here.

Assuming that you’ve read part one, I spoke about how we shouldn’t worry too much about what others think about us. However, at the same time, we should maybe reflect on what energy we might bring into a room with us.

After going back to sixth form just a week and a half ago, it made me think about this again. On the first few days back at school, it’s clear that everyone wants to make a good impression to other students and teachers. They make an effort into the way they look, the way they dress etc. We’re all guilty for it in some way or another. I think it’s nice to see people do this. It shows that they care. They want to make an effort.

Did everyone bring light into school? Yes, the majority did. But for those people that you don’t automatically ‘warm to’. Maybe, they find it difficult to be open and make conversation with others. I mean… I think that I could be one of those people myself. Sometimes, I’m actually really shy. Believe it or not, I am. Especially when meeting new people. I’m the type to sit back and gather as much information about someone by watching them (not in a creepy way) rather than just ask them simple questions to get to know them. I’m clearly wrong for doing this but it comes back to the fact that everyone is different. Introvert or extrovert, none us are the same.

If there’s anything that I want people to take from this post, it would be to avoid judging people that you’ve never met before. As difficult as it may be, you never know what the person sat in front might be thinking of you.

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Toxic people

‘Toxic’ is a very strong word to describe someone. However, the term ‘toxic people’ or ‘toxic friends’ is being used quite a lot recently so let’s just go along with it.

So what makes someone ‘toxic’?

From what I’ve gathered, toxic people are those that fundamentally make you feel like sh*t. For the majority of the time, you probably won’t even realise it until you take a step back. You’ll realise that that one ‘friend’ of yours isn’t benefiting you in any way, shape or form.

You know those random friends that you had when you were fifteen in your science class. The ones that compared their grades to yours. The self obsessed type that has a sort of bad presence but keeps you on your toes. Almost like that crush that keeps you chasing after them. They’re a little toxic. They’ll at least make you laugh for half of the lesson until the jokes go too far and begin to get disrespectful.

The real toxic people are on another level. They’re are selfish, they point out your insecurities and then say ‘”but it doesn’t matter” straight after, in their patronising voice. They’ll have you guessing what ‘version’ of them you’ll be faced with on that day. They never apologies for their mistakes. But that’s because they don’t have to. You’ve been manipulated to thinking that they’re superior. Your toxic friend is judgemental. You’ll always know when they don’t like something that you’ve done/said today. Sharing is unheard of to them. Oh and there’s no point in arguing with them because they’re always right.

It makes you wonder why we hang around with these people. A lot of the time, you won’t even realise it until you’ve escaped them. But if you do realise, it’s definitely worth cutting them off. You’ll no longer have to compromise yourself for them.

Understanding others

I’m just going to spill some thoughts on understanding others actions. This post has no planned direction by the way.

We often hear about underachieving children in working class areas, those people that have awful opinions on serious matters or those who make awfully wrong decisions at the worst times.

We know that everyone is different. However, we need to understand why everyone is different. I think that people struggle to understand the factors that influence other opinions, choice and actions in life. People’s opinions on matters will vary due to many different things such as life experiences. Think about the way that you have been brought up in your family. Your parents are likely to be your biggest influences in life along with your peers.

People often do the wrong things in life because of bad life experience or because of the information that their parents have drilled into them from a young age. That’s not to say that bad decisions and intolerable opinions are acceptable. We just need to challenge things at the root to avoid problems in the future. It’s all a learning curve.

We have to take into consideration people’s backgrounds, where they’ve grown up. Their struggles life, whether that be mental health, financial problems or living in society as a minority.

Being able to acknowledge wrong is easy. But being able to understand the reasons why is difficult. It’s a skill. Some people are too stuck in their ways and others too sympathetic. Everyone is different.

Be open minded. People change right? Never judge a person from one of their Facebook status’ in 2008. (well, unless they’re a Neo-Nazi)

Everything that you experience in life moulds you into the person that you are today.

(Don’t look into this post too deeply and miss the main message. Let’s take the worst case scenario, murder. I know that murder is unacceptable. I think that it’s interesting to find out the reasons why someone might have committed a murder and understand others without jumping to conclusions.)

Aminé – Good For You (Album Review)

Being the music fanatic that I am, I love listening to new artists. I’m glad that I use a streaming service that suggests music for me based on what I already listen to. Tidal has definitely enabled me to find great new artists such as Aminé himself.

Before listening to ‘Good For You’, I’d never even heard of the rapper Aminé. However, his bright yellow album cover caught my eye whilst searching for new music. I thought that I’d give his album a listen and I can honestly say that I have no regrets. I later learned that ‘Good For You’ is Aminé’s debut album which made me admire his music even more. The album is magnificent for such a ‘beginner’.

‘Good For You’ was released shortly after his debut single ‘Caroline’. He also released a song featuring Kehlani called ‘Heebiejeebies’ which I had seen advertise on social media. Unfortunately, I never thought to explore Aminé as an artist alone until I saw the album cover featured in the Tidal’s app.

The only way that I can describe Aminé’s music is by saying that it’s a cross between Frank Ocean and Chance The Rapper. Two artists that I incidentally love. The sounds that Aminé brings to the table are fun and energetic. His vocals are unique and fit neatly with his production.

I haven’t studied the lyrics of this album much compared to maybe Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ or Lorde’s ‘Melodrama’. However, from what I’ve heard, the album is presented to be something that is well humoured instead of something that should be taken too seriously. Some lyrics are low key rude but with Aminé’s cheeky touch, you can only embrace it. With savage lyrics in the song ‘Wedding Crashers’ it almost makes it laughable. I understand the significant messages in the song ‘Money’ and I am excited to see if Aminé will begin to voice maybe his political views in his music now that he has a bigger platform,

The album isn’t excellent however, it’s one of the best debut albums that 2017 has seen.

After playing ‘Good For You’ a few times, I later watched a few YouTube videos such as interviews of him to gather an understanding of his personality. I think that it’s pretty clear that Aminé is a really chilled, fun but genuine artist that cares for his music. I definitely like the fresh vibe that he gives off.

Being a teenager in 2017

Before I get into this one, I would just like to say that I hope everyone got the grades that they wanted today on their A level results day. If you didn’t get what you hoped for then please there are still many things that you can do to maybe improve those grades or take an alternative route that could be just as beneficial in the end.

 

“You lot have it easy these days”

That’s what the adults of our generation repeatedly say to us as we silently build up frustration within ourselves.

Our teenagers don’t have it as easy as you may think. Yes, we might get more pocket money, have better gadgets and get more holidays abroad. But maybe, just maybe it isn’t all that simple.

With the rise of social media and the use of apps like Instagram and Snapchat, young people feel more pressured to fit in with others. Feeling like they have to wear the same clothes, makeup and have that perfect ‘summer body’. We have role models like Kim Kardashian along with the latest stars from Love Island. Boys feel like they have to go the gym and girls, have to get the new Kylie Jenner lip kit. And if you don’t have an Instagram account then… well that’s another matter within itself. Our peers and role models undeniably cause teenagers to feel less worthy. It’s almost like life is becoming a competition of materialism.

When it comes to academics, teenagers are pushed to excel in ways that only a few did 30 years ago. With the expectation of good GCSE grades leading onto A levels and university further down the line, young people have to constantly worry about their futures at an incredibly young age. University was virtually unheard of in working class backgrounds but now it’s becoming the ‘standard’. It often makes me wonder if all of this pressure is doing us any good?

A thing that teenagers find frustrating is that we are often expected to be ‘adult like’. We’re encouraged to taker responsibility for things despite being treated like children. Confusing. A lot of the time when speaking to adults, you’re made to think that your opinions aren’t valid simply because of your age despite you having more/better qualifications than them. Yes, life experiences teach you a lot but allowing teenagers to form their own opinions on things won’t cause any harm.

Teenagers often understand the struggles that adults had as teenagers. I think that teenagers would like adults to understand theirs too. At the end of the day, disregarding problems won’t solve anything.

When you walk into a room, do you bring light or darkness?

Just a short one.

I came across this question recently on social media. It genuinely made me think about myself and the way in which people may perceive me.

The question isn't asking about literal light or darkness. It's about the impact that you have on others. How you make others feel and the mood that they associate you with.

In my opinion, you shouldn't be thinking about what others think of you. You should always be yourself, live a joyful life and mind your own business. But this question made me realise that maybe we should question ourselves, just occasionally. Reflect on what we choose to present to others.

We all know those people that we naturally warm to. We also know those that we try to avoid immediately. Which person are you?

Don’t Touch My Hair

Despite my love for Solange’s record ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ , an angry but peaceful anthem along with her visual artistry of a music video, that’s not what this post is going to be about. Let’s talk about people feeling the need to touch afro hair and the problems the come with it.

Touching my hair for your own pleasure isn’t cool. I hope that this post helps to explain and justify my reasons for why this isn’t just black people overreacting. Personally, I take offence to people who ask to touch my hair (or touch it without my permission). This is not only because it’s annoying, but I also understand why it’s problematic.

Firstly, it’s simply rude, annoying and uncomfortable for me when someone asks to touch my hair. It’s abnormal. However, people seem to think that just because my hair is has a different texture theirs that it’s okay to touch it when it pleases them.

It seems that only a small amount of people seem to understand that touching my afro hair is actually an act of a racial microaggression. A subtle, non verbal action that communicates negative messages. I do understand that it’s rarely ever done with the intention to make us, feel uncomfortable, but it does. When it comes down to the microagression, touching our hair makes us feel ‘different’ and not ‘normal’. This makes sense because people say that our hair is ‘exotic’ and ‘unfamiliar’.

Society has created a phenomenon that wearing natural afro hair comes with labels of unprofessional and deviance. These are negative labels causing black people, especially women, to make the decision not to wear their natural afro hair. They’ll wear weaves etc instead (because of the negative connotation that come along with it) which isn’t fair.

The Eurocentric beauty standards also contribute to the microagression the majority have created an idea that you’re a “beautiful” woman if you have a thin nose, white/tanned skin, a slim body, light coloured eyes and STRAIGHT HAIR. Black people just don’t naturally fit into these categories. This is why it is difficult for us to let you touch out hair because you say it feels ‘different’.

Plus, if i’m honest, there’s nothing special about my hair. It might smell good, but that’s all. So please, don’t touch my hair.