A letter to my younger self

Heyyou,

Believe it or not, it’s me. I’m you. Okay, well that’s confusing.

You’ll be sad to know I’m not famous yet. There’s still a big part of me that just wants to get up on stage every day and sing my heart out, but no, unfortunately that is not what I’m doing. Good news is, I’ve graduated now! Yep, that’s right. To say I found university hard would be an understatement, but I made it out the other side and I’m still standing. I looked great in the funny hat and robe, I did some travelling and now I’m looking for work – proper adult style.

So you’ve finished Year 11 and you’re going into Sixth Form College. Everyone’s telling you that you just have to go to uni. No-one’s telling you about the options you can take that don’t involve moving miles away from home and taking a really big loan from the government, go to them and ask them about them! Make sure you know you have a choice.

University did us an awful lot of good, but we would have been fine without it too. There’s some amazing people in my life right now that might want to kill you if you decide never to meet them though, just saying.

All I want you to know is that I still don’t have it all figured out. I still don’t have an answer to the question ‘What do you want to do for the rest of your life?’ and I’m beginning to finally realise that that is okay. Honestly, you don’t need to have all the answers, have fun, follow your heart and you’ll be fine.

Don’t let people tell you that you need a plan. Take it as it comes.

I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t rush. If you need a year out, take one. Listen to your own heart and don’t let what anyone else is doing sway you. You can make all the big decisions you like, but when you’re 22 you’ll just be sat wondering why you worried so much. You’ll still have changed your mind a million times. Plans change, things change, life happens, but it’ll all be alright in the end.

Lastly, if you do go to uni, don’t take that bottle of apple sours and don’t let your flatmates give you tequila either. Try Sambuka instead, you’ll thank me for it.

Yours-self,

Bronwen

Why the good people in this world need to stick together

I’ve got the most horrid cough at the moment and yesterday I felt miserable and helpless because the doctor’s surgery was closed and I knew I wouldn’t have time for an appointment this week. My dad suggested I head to the pharmacy and chat to them. I was dubious because the last time I took a friend to a pharmacy the man behind the counter was anything but helpful. However, I spoke to a lovely lady, who went above and beyond to make me feel better and give me the best advice she could. I drove home beaming because not only had she made me feel like I could see this cough through, she’d reminded me that there are still lots of good people in this world.

I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I nearly give up on humanity all together, someone or something restores my faith. What with England fans acting horrendously at the Euros in France, with politicians lying left, right and center in the wake of the EU referendum, with talented young musicians being shot down at concerts (need I go on?) it’s hard to keep the faith. However, whether I come across a video on youtube of someone doing something good, I hear that a celebrity has made a massive contribution to charity, I watch someone help an elderly man cross the road, or someone does something good for me, there are times when I’m reminded we’re not all bad.

I went into that pharmacy yesterday feeling miserable and grumpy and the women behind the counter turned my frown upside down. I think what’s important is that if it had been the other way round, I hope that I’d of been friendly enough to turn her day around.

My point is that good people need to restore the faith of good people. Good people need to stick together. If I’m preaching to the converted then good! Keep up the good work. Keep making conversation with the person stood behind the till in your corner shop, keep returning the smile when you catch a strangers eye in a shop or on a train, always be lovely to your hardworking waiter or waitress and don’t be scared to jump in when people around you need your help.

I know it’s hard, but let’s expect the best from each other and let’s not let it set us back when the best isn’t what we get. If you’ve been let down by the people around you more times than you can count and if you’ve witnessed first hand the poverty and the horridness that I only hear about on the news, you might not even be reading this because you might have closed the page already. If you are reading you’re probably rolling your eyes and smiling at my naivety.

Let’s stop acting like it’s naive to be optimistic because yes, sometimes being optimistic leaves you looking and feeling like a fool, but sometimes it pays off. Nine times out of ten, you’ll smile at a complete stranger and they’ll smile right back. That’s what counts. 

I promise there’s a post coming some time this week with an actual update on my life. If I’m honest, I’ve been putting it off because I’m not sure where to start. All is good though, don’t you worry! Just watch this space.

My short-term travel bucket list

I’ve got travelling on the brain. One of my best friends is off to live in Australia for six months starting in July and for the record, it is not okay. (Not only am I unbelievably jealous, but I’m really going to miss having her around.) This time last year I was finishing my degree and planning a trip to Europe for three months and so my timehop is driving me crazy. The fact it is June and it’s getting sunny makes me feel like holiday-ing more than ever. I was stood in Dave’s front garden talking to one of his neighbours about travelling the other day and no word of a lie, I nearly drove straight to the nearest airport and hopped on the first flight out.

Before we begin, know that actually, given the chance, I want to see the whole world. South America, India, China and Japan for example, aren’t on this list, but make no mistake, they’re on my radar. Cutting this down was ridiculously hard. For now though, this is my short-term travel bucket list. Five places to see in the near future:

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AMBEDKAR

As I wrote my dissertation I fell gradually in love with India’s dynamic  history and with the story of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. Dip in and out if you please. Read as much or as little as you want. My only hope is that I can draw at least a little attention towards Ambedkar; a man whose story should serve as inspiration to all of us.

Note: For the purpose of this dissertation I wrote in the past tense, but many people living in India today, still live as untouchables and are still limited by their caste, a caste they are born into and did not choose. Ambedkar’s movement was a beginning, but the story is still far from ending.

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