Young, over-educated and winging it

Young, over-educated and winging it

Episode one: tantrums, toxicity and rising above it

I used to be a toxic person. It’s easier to be angry at the world than to try to understand it. Humans have the habit of avoiding things that make them uncomfortable. A situation cannot have the opportunity to change if nobody addresses them. Sometimes, there isn’t enough fight in a person to change. To lay down and take one’s beating seems easier to those unwilling to take a chance. A risk for a better life. 

That’s why I began Lighter-Minds. To fight the stigma. The toxicity – it is contagious. Spreads a disease throughout society creating everlasting cycles of suffering. I urge those experiencing mental health difficulties or emotional turmoil to visit the site. 

All too often, people have far too much time on their hands. For every keyboard warrior there is another who stays silent. Harassment, on the other hand, oversteps a line. Do not allow maltreatment from those who should know better. Stalking is a criminal offence, virtual or in-person, alongside contact through a third party. Know your rights. 

Hilariously, as much as living in a perfect world is out of the question so is the likelihood that people mature with age. If you somebody lacks respect for human beings, it won’t magically regrow with wrinkles and grey hairs.

This website was built on the foundation that I wanted a place to promote my work. Now, with my first novel being sent to publishers and acceptance into the Teach First programme for 2021, it’s more essential for me to build an authorial portfolio. 

What I write varies – it can fall into multiple categories: opinion pieces, reviews, news articles, promotion pieces, research articles, essays, collaborative work, advice columns, horoscopes, prose, poetry, plays. The important part is to help other people to turn negatives into positives irrespective of how I perceive a situation to be from my own circumstances. Words are expression and how humans relate. 

I won’t limit myself to a mode of literature or the topics I desire to cover. Write what you know. That’s the age-old advice. This can mean writing from experiences or taking the time to write through research. Nothing will ever stop me writing. If you’re passionate about something, pursue it. A calling must be answered. 

I remember the first day I saw my name in print in a real-life book. Anthology of literature, to be precise, complete with illustrations. The second time, I felt just as exhilarated. On the third occasion, I was lucky enough to get two pieces in the New Writing anthology series. Then, the first acceptance outside of academic connections was by Helen Ivory, poet who runs Ink, Sweat & Tears webzine. That particular poem was written in loose reference of an abusive relationship I’d be involved in during my teenage years. 

When my book is published there will be no greater feeling. 

Except, perhaps for teaching. For the first time in my life, just before my mid-twenties, I have secured a professional position in a respectable institution with opportunities for progression. I’m moving to academic mentoring to open my experience with elder children. This has developed into the pursuit of a teaching qualification. Next year, my own class of KS3 and KS4 students is likely to be on the cards. 

How can I be dissatisfied with my life choices? I have two degrees, an amazing job with children who adore me, the comfort of knowing I’m genuinely loved (if, albeit, in an unconventional manner, it’s comforting to know that no matter what the circumstances, a person’s feelings toward you will not change) and a future holding nothing but more education, achievements and creativity. Nothing aside that matters. 

2020 has brought with it a wave of damage. COVID-19. Job losses. Global crisis. It was all ill-timed and possibly partially why my life must adapt to so much change. What will 2021 bring?

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