the boundary

the critics spoke,

and at first she listened.

 

and at first she defended,

and at first she questioned,

and at first she wondered why.

 

the one that was so quiet,

had so much to say,

behind the safety of another.

 

criticism to be passed from one,

to another,

to her.

 

but to her it was

a critic.

 

and she could no longer

see the line drawn

between

the constructive

and the afraid.

 

and when

 

she realised she had

only considered “i”

and not “they”

and not how what “they” said

reflected “them”

and not “her”

 

she picked up the pencil

 

and drew the line

 

and placed those whose

reflections

reflected “them”

and not “her”

on one side,

 

and those who could

accept

“her” challenge

on the other.

 

beside her.

 

because what

those on the other side

had said

had never really reflected

“her”

but “them”,

 

and she no longer

would be reduced

for their comfort.

 

– a.

 

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Insta-spiration: a Modern Dilemma

“Insta-spiration”

insta(gram)・ inspiration

of, or relating to, inspiration gained from various platforms of social media, often relating to one’s attitude in regards to the self and treatment of others

Editor’s Note (1):

likely to be highly contradictory

Editor’s Note (2):

has a tendency to confuse the ordinary individual

When scrolling through social media, the average user will be faced will a plethora of instructions on how to approach the more tedious circumstances of life.

Whilst the insta-famous yoga account one follows vouches for the “loving all” approach “regardless of flaws”, it is in direct competition with the #girlboss account posting directly underneath it, advocating the cutting out of all those who cross you, because not only are you a #girlboss, but a #hustler and #strongindividual.

Although I don’t doubt the intentions of these sorts of posts, aiming to nudge the lost traveller in the right direction, they are self-defeating when thrown together in the likes of a social media feed.

Rather than simply offering the individual a refreshed perspective on their approach to life, the combination of these various attitudes leave them more bewildered than before, not only attempting to navigate through the troubles they face, but now newly trying to synthesise beliefs from so many others, into a singular approach of their own.

Therefore, in this process, the lost traveller is most certainly not nudged in the right direction, but blindfolded, spun till dizzy and air-dropped into a maze, with forty inconsistent maps and no clue how to get out.

Admittedly, formulating one’s individualistic attitude to life is not much easier, so in a modern world, where the approaches of so many others are made accessible in seconds, where do we stand?

Do we take into consideration all opinions we see online, do we pick and choose (be it based on posting frequency, the successes of the author, their number of followers?), or do we simply choose to ignore these sorts of post all together, in attempt to find our own compass and own line on the map?

Only this is clear: when at risk of being influenced by inspirational text posts on social media, we must approach with caution.

one hundred and fifty mph

I’ve never been good on holidays.

There’s something about being loosed of the mechanical ways of a routine that provides opportunity for, essentially, a crises.

A deeply stereotypical teenage existential crises, in fact.

Finishing school has graced me with this opportunity.

Whilst the thought of lazing around all day, piles of books and stacks of notes out of sight, glistened in the midst of gruelling exams, there’s something to be said for the ease of routine.

In the fast-paced, comfortable and well-trodden path of daily routine, I was accustomed to the ability of overlooking nagging thoughts, till slowly they faded into the monotonous background of life, disappearing.

Not surprisingly, I’d assume many of us would wish that these sorts of thoughts could, in fact, permanently disappear.

Once again, holidays have, here, proved me wrong.

Slowing down has allowed what has been previously concealed to surface, urging me to consider what had once so easily been pushed aside.

Although it seems unappreciative to fail to sing praises about this transitional phase, to fill the void with a plethora of plans, there is difficulty in addressing questions you have chosen to ignore for so long, for you don’t know how to answer them, or would rather not even consider them in the first place.

However cliched, there is something worrying about this period of time allowing the freedom for me to reconsider a lot of what I thought I knew, or had just come to accept without question.

How do we even begin to attempt to answer larger, pressing questions? What foundations do we rely on, and how do we know when to uphold our preconceptions, or when to abandon them and voyage out on our own path, defining it as we go?

Going 150mph with scenery flashing past, quickly being forgotten and replaced, seems much less daunting than being forced to acknowledge our surroundings, good or bad, crawling down the road at a mere 20.