Looking back fondly

It’s a strange thing, looking back on past relationships. I only have one from which to draw experience from, but it still counts! Honestly, I  thought that I’d hate my ex-boyfriend for a lot longer than I have, or at least have his existence irritate me for quite a while, but it turns out that I don’t. Side note: ex-boyfriend, ex-anything really, sounds so harsh, we need a better word. Post-romantic partner? Former-friend with benefits? (I’ll work on it.)

Without going into the specifics, as I’m not going to air my love-life-laundry over the internet, ex-boyfriend and I mutually broke up for uni. I changed my mind a few months in, and told him that I wanted to give long distance a shot, but was too late; he had a new girlfriend. My heart got a severe kick in the dick, and I was mad and sad for several months . I annexed all pictures to my Google Drive, deleted him from Snapchat, and tried to cut all reminders of him out of my life, because every single picture made me hurt all over again.

I got on with my life, university acting as a  good distraction. I even forgave him, and explained to him how and why I was so hurt. I thought to myself, “Nice job Sarah, you’ve learnt how to handle your emotions maturely and sensibly” *pats self on the back*. Yet I still couldn’t look at pictures of him (or his new girlfriend) when they showed up on social media without sighing and rolling my eyes in disgust. I figured that it was probably normal, but was upset that I couldn’t shake those negative feelings, as I still wanted to remain friends. Regardless, I moved on, and didn’t think about him at all. All of my memories were tucked away safely where I didn’t have to look at them.

Until today.

For some reason, I decided to visit his Facebook profile, have a look around, and wait for those shitty, hurt emotions to come flooding back. But to my surprise, they didn’t. I found myself smiling, even laughing at daft pictures of him. (I may or may not have also visited his girlfriend’s profile, in an absolutely non creepy-ex-girlfriend way, and decided that she looked like a pretty awesome person that I wouldn’t mind getting to know.) I opened my Drive, and scrolled though some of those pictures that I had put away. I didn’t feel angry, or hurt, or even particularly sad. I was reminded of everything I went through that year, and I felt the strangest mix of joy and sadness, looking back with fondness at a time when I was so happy.

Next time I see him, I think I should tell him how grateful I am. Yes, he broke my heart, but he was also the first person (besides my family) who told me he loved me, and that’s always going to make him special to me. I’m also going to tease the fuck out of him about his new girlfriend. Just because I can.

I’m Scared of What Comes Next

Reading through the Politics Page of the Huffington Post this afternoon has brought thoughts to the front of my mind that have been, let’s say, troubling me for some time now.

Okay, rewind time. It’s time for me to talk about my political beliefs. (*gasp* she can’t be serious! Such a snake pit is impossible to approach, let alone cross, without harm!) I’m joking, of course but back to the topic in hand. I am unashamedly left wing and liberal – by which I mean libertarian – and was raised in a distinctly left wing, Labour supporting household. I grew up with a Labour government, and as a child and through my teens I was admittedly biased towards acceptance of Labour policies and stances. I could be found yelling disparagingly at the radio in the mornings, listening to the coverage of Prime Minister’s Question Time, despairing at the mess the Tories were making, and the constant demonizing of the opposition. I longed for a fairer, more cooperative political system, but was more than happy to engage in demonizing the Tories to my family and any friends that would listen. I was young, I was angry, and I wanted things to be different. I soon realized, however, things weren’t likely to change any time soon.

When Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, my whole family was ecstatic. “Finally,” we thought. “Here’s someone who actually believes in a fairer, egalitarian way of doing things, and isn’t afraid of stepping on the well established toes of party politicians. He believes in helping the people instead of bolstering his own political rep. He is the messiah, come to save us all.” (That last part’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.) For once we were hopeful for the future. Parliament would know what hit them.

But of course, they did. They knew exactly what was up, and it scared them. Mr Corbyn was a threat to the status quo, and consequently had to be taken care of. Of course the media demonized him, belittled him, questioned him at every turn. Of course the Prime Minister and the Tory front benchers took every opportunity to spout similar belittling and childish responses to his questions. This is Westminster after all. Everyone is secretly a five year old, just waiting to throw a tantrum in the sandpit. I should have known this was coming, but I thought things would be different. That hope made it hurt all the more to see that Parliament never changes.

Around this time I had A Levels to focus on, so I decided to switch off for a while. Politics was making me nothing but miserable and angry, and I needed to knuckle down and focus on getting grades good enough so that I could spend £9,000 pounds a year on a future. So I went cold turkey on giving a shit for a while.

Cue Brexit.

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And then Trump.

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Thus, the world went to hell in a hand basket.

You might remember, back before Corbyn, Brexit, and Trump, I had that realization that change was a pipe dream. Along with this came another realization: I needed to stop, and have a good long look at my beliefs, and realize how much of a bloody hypocrite I was being. Here I was, badmouthing the Tories, and I couldn’t even stop and consider the fact that they were only people. The majority of them were good and decent people, whose views happened to differ from my own. I was as bad as the politicians I hated. So I tried to be more tolerant, and listen to the other side. I tried stepping away from my anger and thinking without the political blinders. I began seeing flaws in the left and merits in the right, and soon I was questioning everything I thought I believed about politics. That loss of black and white politics was a pivotal moment in my young life, and I’ve never been the same since.

I look around now at the post Trump-Brexit political hellscape, and I’m terrified at what I see. The world is so uncertain now, from US cuts to basic healthcare that predominantly effect those already disadvantaged in society, to the rise of hate, to the UKs uncertain position in this new and dark world. The future is uncertain, everyone’s scared. People are clinging to their beliefs more strongly than ever, and I know so many people who are rallying around Corbyn, the only hope they can see, making him into their god. But I can’t do that. I wish I could, but it’s more black and white than ever now, and all I see are the shades of grey inbetween. Theresa May isn’t evil, Jeremy Corbyn isn’t Our Lord and Saviour, and there’s no easy way out of this mess.

I’m scared, and I don’t believe in anything anymore.

So what comes next…?

So…

Unsurprisingly, I should be working right now. It’s exam season again, and I’ve got one tomorrow that I definitely need to revise for. Also unsurprisingly, I’ve decided to try something new, instead of revising. What a shocker. 

But hey, who knows, this could be a good thing. I don’t know. I don’t often know. I guess it’s a common refrain amongst everyone really. But I reckon writing down my thoughts might help me become… More me? *sigh* This isn’t making sense, but hey, it’s my blog! It doesn’t have to make sense! (Take that, suckers).

Anyway…

This is a train wreck of a first post. More to follow.

Sarah