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29 January 2017

The World Has Gone Mad, and We Aren't Talking About It

That is a rather brash statement, because in fact, a lot of people are writing about it. Journalists and news broadcasters, politicians and individuals on Facebook who think they're politicians but are actually just bandwagoners. But meanwhile, in the Youtube and Blogging community, people with audiences of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions in fact, are still talking about lipsticks and unicorn makeup brushes.

Please don't get me wrong, today I had a conversation with my friends about how much I LOVE unicorn makeup brushes. But I really struggle to understand how, if you're a social media influencer who talks about how to feel confident in your own skin, you wouldn't then show solidarity with the people who are marching on the streets around the world. Why you wouldn't write a tweet saying, 'btw, women's march next week, let's GO.' 

As a blogger, I understand. I understand how your blog is your happy place. How most Youtubers sugar coat their days so their viewers aren't watching them cry into their cornflakes. I even understand, how Politics used to be a bit of a taboo subject. Particularly when there's a large audience, you're always going to offend someone. 

But times are changing. In the same way you once could never imagine earning a living filming your daily grinds, Politics is, dare I say it, becoming 'cool'. Everyone has an opinion, everyone's becoming involved, and whether you agree with the person sat next to you or not, it can only be described as progression to know they have an opinion at all. 

This week, President Trump (vom) has begun his term in office by instilling terror, racism and misogyny in his administration. And how many popular bloggers have I seen mention this? Tweet about it, instagram it, show evidence in any way, that they KNOW what is going on and they are against it? No one. 

It's January 2017 and the top three trending Facebook news stories right now, are '#Muslim Ban', 'JFK Airport' - where a muslim airline employee was attacked, and 'Victoria Texas' - where a mosque was destroyed by a fire. My timeline is awash with news articles about Trump's executive seven country ban order. Everybody is talking about it. Yet, there's a majority of silence from the Youtubers and bloggers who have more followers than a small country, whose word is law to the 14 year olds who watch every, single, video.

Does there not come a point, where the repercussions of speaking out, outweigh the risk of doing so? If we're not at this point now, when the leader of the 'free world' is risking the livelihood of millions, when is it? When people are dying as a result? Because that's already happening. When white people are dying? When white men are dying?

  Change did not come around because people stayed silent. Change came to those who sang, and marched and fought. We're in a different era now, an era where a 140 character tweet can reach millions. Where a viral video can inspire a generation. So why is this not being utilised by the most valuable individuals on the internet?

You don't need to be an expert on feminism to be an advocate of women's rights. You don't need a degree in International Relations to know refugees need as much aid as possible. Write about your outfits and your lipsticks and your vegan diet. But talk about how to donate old clothes to charity, write about how you don't need to be a female to wear lipstick, and post photos of how your morning smoothie bowl is gearing you up to support women, LGBTQ people and men as they march across the city. Spread awareness, spread words, use every means possible to draw attention to the world going mad. Why would you not talk about it? 

Love, Alice x

17 January 2017

January Blues

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post about my journey into the world of au pairing. I'd applied to university, had five out of five offers, and then following a miniature breakdown which resulted in an epiphany, I pulled out of uni, applied for a job as an au pair in Italy, and told my parents a month before I was scheduled to leave.

And I've found recently, I have to remind myself on a daily basis of my eighteen year old self's decision to follow her instinct. I may not have found myself through eating gelato and dating Italian men, but it ended up being the best decision of my life so far, and the series of very fortunate events which followed, gained me a place at this university, which is where I truly did find myself. It turns out I'm not quite as cool as 18 year old me had thought, but I definitely accepted I'm the type of person who wears Harry Potter socks, drinks merlot on a Sunday morning and owns enough fairy lights to own a shop, without any shame.

In fear of being the most cliché I have ever been in my life, everything has so far, happened for a reason.

This year, I was supposed to be studying in Washington DC, but ended up pulling out, working a summer in France, and will be graduating with my best friends. I've also met people in the time I would've been in the US, who I now can't imagine my life without. 

It's hard to imagine my 18 year old self's strong, independent attitude right now, because my whole household are on a January slump. We're a house of emotional chats, not changing out of our pyjamas all day, and eating a whole pack of Family Circle biscuits in bed, watching Angus Thongs. The general feeling of my house right now, is a 3/10.

All of us are wallowing in self pity, and we've come to the consensus, it's totally okay. So long as it doesn't damage our grades, it doesn't make us awful people just because we may or may not take our bra's off the second the front door is closed. 

The point is, you will end up where you should be. You will meet the people you should meet, you will do the things you were destined to do and you will be a part of the lives you were meant to be a part of. And along the way, you're going to encounter rejection and failure and love and all kinds of weird and wonderful human beings. You will have days where you stay in your pyjamas and days where you will get up at 6am to face the day. Just go with your instinct and make choices for your own happiness. Sometimes you might not be where you might expect, or you might not be where 13 year old you pictured (I'm most definitely not), but it's completely okay. 

Love, Alice x

3 January 2017

2017 Resolutions and Realisations

I’m currently sat on a train, travelling North. It’s the first time I’ve been to the ‘North’ (anywhere above Milton Keynes, in my opinion), since I was 16. But a group of us are travelling to nearish-but-not-quite Manchester, to see in the New Year amongst the Northern Folk, including one of my housemates, and to do all things Northern. I even created a small Northern bucket list earlier in my journey, including things such as ‘have chips and gravy’, ‘visit Greggs’ and ‘say hello to a stranger’. 

I know this is being read in the future, so I hope you all welcomed 2017 in with a full heart and an even fuller glass. And now it’s January. Potentially the most lifeless month of the year, when people attempt to have their Christmas sins forgiven by going ‘dry’ (the only dry effecting me will be a dry gin) and when the gym is suddenly the newest place to see all of your friends, family and everyone in between. 

Yet despite it all, I love the New Year. I love the idea of a fresh start, a ‘do-over’. There’s something wonderful about the start of January, because there are 12 big, full months ahead of you to turn into your own. You might have quit the job you hated, or fallen in love. You may go travelling, win the lottery or work your way to a Kim K bum. But the person you are, and the experiences you have between 11:59pm on New Years Day 2016, and 11:59pm on New Years Day 2017, are going to shape you in some way. Be it big, or be it small, there are lessons to be learnt. And that to me, as a fresh faced woman in her twenties, is bloody exciting. 

Which is why, as with every year, I want to share with you my own resolutions for the year ahead. 

Graduate with a 2:1

2017 is the year I officially leave the track paved for me since I started Nursery aged 4. I will (hopefully!) be graduating with a degree in Politics and International Relations, and from July of this year, the real world will begin. The real world is going to consist of a new job in a new place, making new friends and experiencing adult life in its purest form. It’s a terrifying thought, but something I’m definitely excited for. 

Read More
     As a student, it’s really hard to pick up a book when you spend half of your life reading academic journals and articles. I’m currently researching for my Dissertation, which requires a lot of reading, and half of it is bloody boring. But the truth is, I love reading, and if I find a book I love enough, I know I’d happily sit for hours, undisturbed. This Christmas, I received ‘Great Small Things’ by Jodi Picoult, and with two hours ahead of me on this train, I’m going to settle down and read as soon as I’ve finished writing this blog post. 

Go Somewhere New
    This doesn’t need to be as exotic as the Bahamas, but I really want to visit a new country this year. Despite sounding like I’ll be jetting off to Bali, one of the places I’m desperate to go is Scotland, which may or may not have a little something to do with being utterly obsessed with Outlander. I just want to visit somewhere I’ve never been and do some hardcore exploring, both the traditional touristy bits, and off the beaten track.

Don’t be Afraid to Say No
    I am fully aware I put a lot of pressure on myself. Taking on responsibilities at University, daily vlogging, maintaining Alice’s Antics. I do a lot of things which are completely isolated from my current core life goal of graduating from University. This year, I want to learn how to prioritise and when say no to things. Managing my life more effectively will hopefully mean I won’t need to say no to too much, but sometimes there really aren’t enough hours in the day and your mental health is far more important than a side project you’ll forget about in a months time. 

Love Alice’s Antics

    This might sound like a bit of a weird one, but it’s also important to me. I wasn’t actually going to put it on here, but over Christmas I saw a lot of friends and family who were so complimentary of my writing, it really hit home. Alice’s Antics isn’t a giant blog, and it was never intended to be. In 2013/2014, I was lucky enough to be recognised by some ‘big’ bloggers and brands and it was wonderful, but it meant earlier this month, when reflecting on my blogging year, I felt disappointed by Alice’s Antics. I haven’t particularly grown my audience, and I’ve only worked with a couple of PR Companies. But over Christmas, when everyone was saying how much they enjoy my blog and my 26 year old male friend was drunkenly confessing how he’s an avid reader of every post, it made my heart full. Alice’s Antics is here because I love writing. I love writing a blog, I love writing short stories and chapters of novels which are yet to be finished- 2017 marks 10 entire years of writing a diary. Because I love writing. And that is why Alice’s Antics exists. So my final 2017 Resolution, is to love Alice’s Antics because it is an online diary of some of my greatest work, not because of how many views it gets. 

Those are just five of my more realistic resolutions for the New Year, I thought I’d spice it up and not include the world ‘gym’ in any form. After a bit of a touch-and-go 2016, I’m feeling really positive about 2017 and am so ready for a fresh start! But for now, I’m going to get on with resolution Number 2 and wrap my scarf tighter, as the train heads on, towards the cold, dark North. 

Happy New Year! 

Alice x

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