Get to Know Me Questions
How would you describe yourself to a stranger?
•15 years old •Self confessed rebel & revolutionary •Sailor girl in love with the ocean. •Writer and spoken word poet •Wild child with my head permanently in the clouds •Feels and thinks wayyy too much •Night thinker – daydreamer •Fueled by aesthetics & adrenaline •Can usually be found swimming laps of a pool, up a tree with my head in a notepad or a book, drinking strong coffee, singing along to my never-ending playlist or sarcastically arguing with people for the sheer fun of it •Will dance with you at 2am •Wearer of bracelets (I have sixteen that I don’t take off) • doesn’t have the answers, but will always try to use my words and my actions to help others •Wants to work as a sailor/youth worker to pursue my passion in life and make a difference in the lives and futures of my generation •free spirit™
What things would you say have shaped you as a person?
The way that my parents have raised me to do everything I can to be a light in the darkness and help others, the pain and negativity I see all around me in my generation and the future they’re facing, discovering the world of sailing, falling in love with the ocean and experiencing the difference if made in my life and the lives of others.
What’s your big goal for this year?
My family and I are taking on a mega challenge this year to raise money for a charity that transforms the lives and futures of young people in need. My main goal is to complete and to be successful in that challenge – even though it’s definitely not going to be easy. Keep an eye out for a post on my blog with all the deets and how you can get involved to help me achieve that goal…coming soon…
Also, just to be the best, most confident, capable, compassionate version of myself that I can be- and to learn to kitesurf 😉
What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with no preparation?
How young people can and should stand up for what they believe in and make a difference. I’d probably find a way to bring sailing and the hugely positive effect it has on young people’s lives into it. I’m highkey obsessed haha
Which skill would you like to master?
Spoken word/slam poetry. The rhythm, the performance, the power, the ability to express your message with so much emotion and clarity – it’s pure magic. I write a lot, but I struggle with the performance element (it always sounds so much better in my head lol). I’d love to master that and be able to pack a punch with my words.
Some of my favourite spoken word poems are called Cigarettes by James Hartzer, Text Me by Los Angeles Team and An Origin Story by Phil Kaye and Sarah Kay. They’re all on YouTube 🙂
What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you
could experience it for the first time again?
I just – I have no words for the 2hrs 20mins of feels that the movie Dead Poets Society gives you. It’s the most beautiful, raw, emotional film I’ve ever watched and the lessons it teaches you on teenage mental health, conformity and creativity are truly life-changing. Just go watch it.Now. Plus it’s about poetry sooo *shrugs* even better 🙂
Also, I would’ve said a song, but I’m way too in love with music to be able to pick just one. Same with books, actually. Could never even begin to choose.
Who inspires you?
My parents. The strength that it takes to raise a family to live and think differently is immense, especially in our society. Their constant dedication to creating a better future for their own children and for other young people inspires me every day.
My friends and other young people of my generation. They struggle so much and yet they are so brave. They fight back against this society that oppresses them. They hang in there even though it hurts and I’m so proud of them for it.
The crew of the boats I sail. They are such positive role-models – people that give their lives to share their passion with my generation and to try and make a difference in our lives. Through sailing, I have met some incredible individuals and, one day, I hope to be like them. Finally, strangers. Every time I hear of someone doing something good in the world, it inspires me to keep going.
General Mental Health Questions
Have you ever had to deal with negative reactions when you’ve opened up about your mental health, and what advice would you have for others?
On the whole I’ve been really lucky to have family and friends who’ve always been supportive, but something I have come across a lot is young people my age shying away from having these discussions about mental health because they’re ‘too deep’ or ‘too serious’.
As a generation, our relationships have become quite shallow and that’s something I really struggle with. I’ve tried to talk to certain friends about my own mental health, their mental health or even just a slightly more serious topic and I’ve found that they will try and avoid discussing it – even when they’re clearly struggling and it’s clearly so important to open up. I’ve also had a lot of experiences with friends making stupid jokes about mental health and suicide even though I know they themselves struggle with depression, self harm, eating disorders, etc.
I think they’re afraid of the vulnerability and so to joke about what’s going on inside their head is so much easier. To me, that is wrong. Mental health/suicide is not a joke and laughing about it will not make you better.
We need to raise awareness and say ‘Look, opening up…communication…sharing your struggles….they are the only way to move forward and get better – you can’t do it alone. There are people who care so whatever you do, don’t push them away. Vulnerability and openness are not a weakness and anyway, sometimes it’s okay to be weak. Sometimes that’s where we’ve got to start’
How do you think parents could be more understanding of their teens’ mental health?
Our parents grew up in a different society to us – the struggles and issues we face now are not the same as what they’ve experienced in their lifetimes. If we communicate with them and try to explain to them what we’re going through, then they must try to understand us by putting themselves in our shoes.
Rapid Fire Questions
Why do you think it’s still so difficult for people to get help when mental health is
becoming something more and more people are being made aware of?
People are aware of mental health, but I don’t think it’s totally normalised yet. Mental illnesses have become a label and people don’t associate mental health as something that could affect them. It’s de-personalised. Another thing that I think really contributes to mental health is how self-centred our society is – if we had more community and people sharing their lives, I think there would a much better and stronger support network for people struggling with mental health.
What’s your opinion on adults expecting teens to behave maturely but then treating
them like kids when they’re vocal about important matters?
As a teenager, I’m always joking that I’m too young for half the stuff I want to do and too old for the other half. We have to break those stereotypes. Yeah, I’m a teenager, but I’ll still join in and share my valid opinions when I hear adults talking about issues that affect me, my generation and my future. Yes, I’m a teenager, but I’m still going to run around in the rain and watch Disney movies. Get used to it 🙂
What is one thing you wish you could tell teens all over the world?
Look around you. This is the world we are growing up in. This is our future and the future of the generations to come – our children, our grandchildren. Is this what we want for them? If we don’t stand up and do something now we are the ones who will suffer for it. Dream, dream big, dream of the world you want to create, then make it happen. Don’t tear down your peers – build them up. Come together, we are so much stronger that way. Vive la révolution!
Also, go sailing – you won’t regret it 😉
What is one thing you wish you could tell adults all the world?
You’re struggling too, we get that, but please, listen to the young people, help us, share your experience with us. We’re not perfect either and we don’t have all the answers, but together we can make the future brighter. Be good role models and reach out to the young people in your lives and communities – it makes a difference.
Also, stop caring so much about materialistic things – they will soon be useless if you don’t do something now to make the future better.
Give Advice To Someone…
Who struggles with comparison?
Just….don’t. Please. It will only make you more unhappy. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others, but it’s so much more powerful to make the conscious decision to say to yourself ‘Stop, that’s not who I am. This is me and this is what makes me beautiful and unique. I am going to be the best version of myself that I can.’ Once you’re on that journey, comparing yourself to others will just slow you down. So please, put them to one side (it’s hard I know, but it’s so worth it). Focus on you and be strong.
Another thing….again I know it’s not easy….but once you stop focusing on your physical
appearance, the sense of freedom is incredible. I still care about what I look like and want to look good, but some days I’m like ‘does it really matter if I go to the supermarket in sweatpants with my hair in a messy bun?’ or ‘does it really matter if I get covered in mud and grass stains and if my hair goes wild?’ and I just go for it and as amazing and empowering as it is to feel beautiful, it’s also pretty awesome just to not care every once in awhile.
There are so many sad eyes on pretty faces. Can we all stop valuing physical beauty over our own happiness and mental health, please?
Who wants to be their own person but finds themselves following others?
It’ll take you awhile to realise this, but once you do, I swear you’ll never feel the same way again. Different is cool, different is awesome, different is fascinating. Different is not weird or ugly or unacceptable or unlovable. Why on earth would you follow everyone else when you could be so much more? There is a world out there and you have a place in it, you just need to explore and to find it. And you will, I promise 🙂 Something I try to live by is this: Always try to do the right thing, even if no one else will. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, even if you walk alone. Don’t isolate yourself from others, accept them for who they are and love them for it, but don’t become like them just for the sake of fitting in.
Who wants to learn to accept themselves?
I guess I’ve kind of answered this in the previous question and the question about comparison, but I’ll say it again – ‘Once you make the decision to be yourself, you are free from the chains and the pressure of society and you can truly begin to make a difference in the lives of others’
Who is being fat shamed but isn’t overweight?
I’m being totally honest when I say that I never look at anyone else and think ‘she/he is ugly’. If people are pointing out the negatives – it’s probably because they themselves are insecure. I know it’s hard, but why let someone’s irrelevant judgement and opinion of you affect you? I can assure you it’s not how the majority of people see you. If you’re feeling really strong, reach out to that person. Communicate with them. Maybe you’ll have a positive effect on them? Maybe you’ll give them a new perspective and change the way they look at things forever?
Who has a lot of fake friends and finds it difficult to stand up for themselves?
Be real. Stay true to who you are and what you believe in. Never stop searching for true
friendship and connection and if there are people worth fighting for then fight.
Tbh, as for practical advice, I’d say start a blog (if you haven’t already), you meet so many
like-minded people who are always there for you, people you can change the world with, plus you have a space where you can be entirely yourself and express your honest thoughts and feelings 💙
Who struggles to trust people because of bad past experiences?
It’s not easy to let go. That’s something I struggle with too, but you’ve got to ask yourself – is this really how I want to live my life – scared of trusting anyone, scared to love, scared of putting my heart in someone else’s hands? Sometimes, in order to move on, you’ve got to take that first brave step….remember, there are people who love you, there are people who care, there are people who are good and kind. They are there for you. They’ve probably all had their heart broken at some point or another and yet they have come through it stronger and wiser than before. You will too.
I started blogging because I needed a space where I didn’t feel restricted when it came to voicing my opinions and sharing my emotions and I found that, I found this amazing community of people who’ve changed my perspective about and opened my eyes to a lot of things.
I’m a better person because of those people.
From the very beginning, mental health was always something I wanted to talk about because it’s something very close to my heart and something I’ve struggled with for a very long time. Right from the get go I told myself that someday I would talk about my own issues, that, I would do it regardless… Continue reading FRIDAY 6PM