two years ago i experienced some of the toughest weeks i have ever faced. i have been very open about my experiences but it was so insanely tough, i am still very shocked i am here, albeit with bruises, scars and memories which may never fade.
since then, i have improved a lot. i am far more open about how i am feeling and i have finally put a definitive end to my self destructive nature, quitting the toxicity for good.
it’s been a long two years, but it’s safe to say i’m getting to the other side now.
i may hate my scars which will never heal, as they remind me of the times others had such a strong hold on me.
i may hate looking at my own reflection, never feeling satisfied with the way i look, making me feel inadequate and unworthy of all this love.
i may hate the fact my mind tries to convince me that the only way to ever stop feeling like this is to stop existing, despite knowing it’s untrue.
i may hate the fact i can never fully relax, always feeling wary and scared of others.
i may hate what i’ve done in the past, never feeling able to fully forgive myself for my actions.
i may hate all of these insecurities…
but that’s ok.
because i am so much stronger now, maybe not physically, but mentally i am wonder woman.
and soon you will be too.
i never believed others when they claimed
“this too shall pass.”
convincing myself they were just making it up, simply to make me feel better.
It’s come to my attention that I’m not always exactly a positive person. And that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes you just need a bit of realism in your life. But after realising the fact I have two different posts about pet peeves of mine (yes, you read that correctly, two) and one more in the deep depths of my drafts for blog posts, I realised I really should start writing about what I like, my pet loves if you will. Actually, no, I hate that, I will try to think of something better. Yes, I do see the irony of that last sentence, but I will try to improve! As February is the month of love, I might as well at least try to spread some form of love, or at least appreciation!
When TV shows just casually add it bits of representation without trying to appear dIvERsE. I was so happy when Brooklyn Nine-Nine did episodes on police brutality and sexual assault, it really makes me happy that they don’t just pretend the world is perfect. Some of my favourite shows: Bojack Horseman; Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore all casually have different bits and bobs of educational representation and I think it’s so cool. We really are in the golden age of television.
Random compliments about good work. I love it when I actually put in a load of effort and my teacher acknowledges it. I feel seen and valued and it just makes me feel really nice and warm and fuzzy inside.
The satisfaction of completing something which you’ve worked really hard on. I experience this whenever I do some schoolwork which takes me a long time, an art piece, a sewing project or even a song which I’ve finally mastered singing, I just love to feel like all the hard work I put in has clearly paid off and it makes me happy.
Seeing someone you haven’t seen in ages and just picking up where you left off. That is a sign of true friendship and it’s such a lovely thing. I’ve seen it firsthand with my Mum and her best friends from uni, and it always makes me happy!
Stickers! I absolutely love stickers. I do not care how old I am, if a teacher gives me the incentive of stickers for doing all my work, you best believe I will be doing all of my work, and more. This actually works as a really good revision tool for me as well – it’s the idea of positive reinforcement and doing something well so you can get rewarded for this. Psychology is fascinating. Long story short, if you want to see me cheer up, get me stickers!!
When you’re thinking about someone and they just message you. I swear each time I do this I’m psychic or something. I feel loved and also like I am queen of the world. It’s a magical thing!!
When you’re as excited about seeing someone as they are about seeing you. A few weeks ago I was out on a walk with my boyfriend and we ran into two of our friends from school and it was the most delightful thing because we were all so excited to see each other and it was clear we genuinely enjoyed each others company.
When someone who you don’t really know just compliments your outfit. It’s something I love to do when I’m getting served at a restaurant or a place where there is no strict uniform. It makes the person feel good and it makes you feel good! There is something so heartwarming about a girl in my sixth form who I don’t know that well just coming up to me and complimenting my outfit. Girls supporting girls is great, you can’t change my mind.
Being acknowledged for the things you do – saying thank you if you do something etc. It’s probably just something about manners and me being painfully British, but I love to be polite and people being polite to me back!
That new book smell. God, it’s just so nice but I can’t explain it!!
When a teacher says your work is exemplary – it’s a feeling of pride which will feel great at any time in your life.
Waking up on a day which you’ve really been looking forward to. Everything just feels so perfect, it’s like you’re a Disney Princess or something!
One of my blog posts getting lots of likes and gains me new subs – I always feel valued and appreciated and it means a lot.
When you message someone and they reply really quickly. It doesn’t make me happy as it does make me feel extremely satisfied, and I love that!
Hard work paying off, I know that seems to be my whole theme, but it just feels really great.
Seeing a picture or video which just instantly cheers you up or makes you smile. I have a couple of videos on my phone of me and my mates which I watch whenever I feel down: instant serotonin boost.
When someone hugs you and you just feel completely safe in their arms. There’s something about that safety which makes me feel so much love and happiness.
When the light hits your room just right and a rainbow appears. I don’t care how old I get, this will forever make me incredibly happy and there’s something extremely magical about it. They’re so pretty!!
I feel like I am already confirmed to be a total quirky “I’m nOt lIkE OtHeR gIrLs” kinda gal. However, there are some strange things I do which are even further than edgy girl which make people slightly concerned for my wellbeing and overall sense of calm. My brain is a very dysfunctional, crazed place, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because it makes me, well, me! If any of you see one of these and think “haha, I do that” please let me know. It makes me feel slightly less crazy and shows me, and you, that you’re not alone. I do always say that, but I don’t think I’ve ever meant it in a type of “dude omg I do that too!! I thought I was the only one hahaha lmaoooo” kinda way, but we’re onto bigger and better things now! Please stick around until the end of this post so I can explain the future of Totally Tatiana – it’s kinda important!!
I am insanely organised with the most miniscule things. I can’t just wing it, I must know exactly what’s going on, at all times. Even walking to school, I opened up a shared note so I can work out what times I’ll be meeting each of my friends. I have a small problem.
I become emotionally attached to inanimate objects for no real reason. I don’t really know how I manage to do it, but I really think it’s just a strange talent I have for emotionally connecting with everything that merely breathes on this planet.
I have a playlist for every song, mood, moment and occasion. Music is my life and I love it so much, it cheers me up, it comforts me, so it’s only fair that I have a song for every single moment of my uninteresting, boring life.
I sing all the damn time – any time a lyric links up to what we’re saying, I’ll sing it, and probably create an impromptu dance alongside it. What can I say? You can take the kid out of the theatre but you can’t take the theatre out of the kid.
I constantly steal my mates phones, just to take photos of myself on them, even though I have a fully functioning camera on my own, I prefer taking theirs. I am a very narcissistic person at times and this is my way of making sure you know I still exist and that you can’t escape me 🤪
Whenever I want to say hi to someone, I just wiggle my fingers at them like I’m casting a spell or something crazy like that. I used to do it with one hand but because I’m theatric I now use both hands, kind of like sideways jazz hands.
I very aggressively use my arms when I’m excited. If you’re within arms length, there’s an increasingly high chance I will accidentally hurt you. That’s not your fault, it’s just me being expressive. I feel like most of these are just me explaining why I love performing arts, but we’ll allow it, this is my blog not yours😚
I obsessively collect dinosaur memorabilia and I love it so much. I am a kid at heart and I think dinosaurs are my favourite thing ever created.
Every-so-often, I just high kick while walking. It’s a fun thing to do and it’s my strange way of saying hi or BAM! Plus when I wear a skirt I feel like I need to dance.
I love watching true crime documentaries and I find them super interesting. It’s also really helpful for my law A-Level as it provides extra context. Now we all know that I’m a sociopathic theatre kid, you can make up your own mind about what I’m really like!
Firstly, I just want to apologise for not posting loads. The 30 day challenge took a lot out of me and I needed time to just get away from writing for a while. Then, sixth form started, and, as much as I’m loving it, it’s a lot of work and it means I’m almost constantly busy.
For the future of this blog, of course I’m not going stop writing all together, I love this blog and it’s my baby. However, because I’m so busy, I’ll most likely end up writing fortnightly, so that I can try maintain my high quality!
As always, please say if you have any thoughts feelings, all that jazz! Thank you so much for reading, love you all,
As many of you know, August is my birth month. I’m planning on taking a little holiday from blogging, so I can focus on other aspects of my life. I’m starting sixth form in September, I’m trying to get a summer job, all in all, I want to get my head in the game. (woo Wildcats! (for those of you who understand that reference, I love you. (yes I’m using brackets in brackets, now in brackets. Don’t know how I ended up here but I don’t think my English teachers read this blog… so I think I’m safe? Unless brackets in brackets is a thing and I’m just uncultured swine. Anyway, back to normal programming!)))
However, I don’t want to throw you completely out of the loop, and I adore writing blog articles, it is my creative brain dump (outlet may sound more dignified but this blog isn’t exactly dignified). So, after thinking, I have decided that this August, I’m going to be spicing things up a bit by pre-writing an article for every single day thing month!
Does this make sense? If not, long story short, I’m taking a break, I’ll probably take a week max to be fair, but I’m doing it all the same. So I can still get the clout I love, I am going to be preparing a new article for each day in August.
What are all these articles going to be about? Well, I have recently stumbled upon Mel, creator of Life, Entirely. I must say, I am a massive fan of her posts, she and I are quite similar in our content and I hope that one day, my blog will be as successful as hers! She has created a 30 Day Writing Challenge, which I will be doing every single day this month, come rain or shine. The challenge is below and I hope you enjoy finding out more about me!
I’ve really enjoyed writing these articles and I hope you enjoy them too! If not, don’t stress as I’ll be back to normal programming soon enough anyway.
See, I vowed to stop writing lockdown articles because I feel like it just gets everyone down and that’s not good because I’m here to inspire, encourage and just help everyone to vibe! But, I felt like this was a rather light hearted article, so I caved and decided to write it. I hope you enjoy and there’s a notice at the end which is kind of important!
Since GCSEs were cancelled, I’ve needed to find something to do for all the time I was meant to be revising and working. I complete all my schoolwork the day it’s set (nerd, I know), which means I have a lot of free time. I could spend this time catastrophising and falling down the deep pit of despair, but that’s very unproductive, and I love being organised and busy. (I ooze Pinterest mum energy if you haven’t been able to tell) Instead, I have devoted my time into random skills and hobbies which may (but most likely may not) help me in the future! If you’re sat at home, bored out of your poor little mind, never fear! For Tati is here!
This is also a good way to keep you busy so you don’t focus on the negatives, thus helping your mental health 🙂 – I’ve got your back babes xx
I can now make sushi! This is a super random one, but for Christmas last year I got a sushi making kit, but I never really had the time to actually make the sushi. Luckily, I have all the time in the world now! (I don’t actually know if that’s lucky…) Nonetheless, I have really enjoyed making sushi and giving it to my friends and family.
2. I’ve been doing lots of artwork. I used to love doing mindful colouring – I found it very calming and the end product made me happy. However, recently I have decided to step out of my comfort zone and draw as well. I’ve never been that confident in my artwork and so it’s been really lovely to be proud of my work – which is a rarity for me!
3. I have found solace in Solitaire. A strangely therapeutic game for me, whenever I’m bored or need to relax I just play a game of solitaire! When I was about six or seven, I used to always play with my Grandma and she’d help to show me all the tricks of the trade and I’m looking forward to showing her how much I’ve improved since then!
4. I’ve organised my room on multiple occasions. I have thrown loads of stuff out of my room and it has been very cathartic. It feels like I am giving myself a fresh start and I’m trying to start a new chapter in my life. You know what they say! Clean room, clean mind, organised room, organised mind.
5. Present shopping! My Mum, Dad, brother and I are all summer babies. This means that there is a lot of present shopping around this time. Now, let me tell you this: I love present shopping. It’s an obsession at this point. If it’s anyone’s birthday coming up, I’ll make a board on Pinterest (which you should definitely follow me on here) and then I decide what present I think will suit them best. I feel like Santa, analysing exactly what I think everyone wants and what will give them the most joy. If Santa ever needs some time off, I’m your (wo)man.
6. Organising parties! This was one of my favourite things to do before lockdown, and it’s still my favourite thing to do now! I love planning things, especially parties and because it’s the big sweet sixteen coming up, I’ve been planning for that! It helps me to focus on one thing and it really helps my budgeting skills and party planning abilities in general!
7. Fitness routines. I’m a sucker for a routine and when it comes to working out, nothing really changes! I’m working on a few articles at the moment about being fit and healthy as a teen so follow my blog so you can be notified every time I post a new article! 🙂
8. Re-branding myself. This lockdown, I have dedicated much of my time to becoming the true Tati. I’ve been working on articles here so I can post once or twice a week, I’ve been wearing whatever I want, I’ve been cutting out all the fakies and the flakies for good which is really exciting. I’m finally starting a new chapter of my life and I’m excited for you all to come along for the ride!
9. Practicing make-up looks! Every time I go out of the house, I’ve been trying a new look to go with my outfits (you can see more of my outfits here). It’s been another fun creative outlet and I know I’ll be able to look my best for sixth form this September!
10. Modelling and taking photos. I’ve been working a lot on my Pinterest recently and this leads me neatly into my news…
As you know, I deleted Instagram in February but I’m planning on re-downloading it at some point. Until then, I have appointed a new member to the Totally Tatian clan – Estella! Estella is in charge of my Instagram and she is my photographer as well as my overall rock. She is the one who I run through all my ideas with and she takes all my photos. Go give her some love and while you’re at it you should follow me 😉
By popular request, I have decided to go the roots of democracy, and give the people what they have asked for: a day in my life! I’m not sure how this is going to work considering these are normally YouTube videos, not blog articles, but I’ll give it a go! In true YouTuber fashion, this article is sponsored. Thank you so much Cheri Glow Cosmetics for supporting my blog, it means a lot 🙂
C”heri Glow Cosmetics is an amazing make up brand which produces affordable but high end makeup. Not only is all their make up great quality, it’s also all handmade so you know every product you get is going to be practically perfect. Their collections are amazing and I’m getting a massive haul from them, as soon as I work out how to not buy the whole shop! All their products are cruelty free and they ship worldwide so there’s nothing in the way between you and their makeup! Plus, I have a code so you can get a discount, as if it wasn’t cheap enough! Just use the code TATITEA in the checkout and you’ll be able to save – perfect for a baby on a budget but you’ll look like you’re worth a million pounds! Thanks again for sponsoring me Cheri Glow, now back to normal programming!
I woke up at 8:30 and I cleaned my room. I’m still not too sure how my room manages to always be messy, but it’s a big feat! After I cleaned my room, I went downstairs and made myself breakfast. I’m still loving Cheerios’ (I’ve been in love since I could eat solid foods to be fair) so I helped myself to a big bowl of cheerios’ with semi skimmed milk and watched some Netflix. I’m currently watching Tiger King and I’ve just finished it today – it’s super good! I continued watching that for a while and then replied to messages on my phone.
After about an hour of binging Netflix and being anti-social, I slogged upstairs and had a shower and went about trying to make myself clean. I 0use Aussie Shampoo and Aussie Conditioner for my hair, and Beauticology shower gel because it smells so good! After I’ve pampered and made my skin go red because of how hot the shower is, I get out and choose my outfit. Today I was going for quite grungy look so I decided to wear my ACDC Shirt with my black distressed jean shorts, all from New Look and I paired that with my black leather converse. It was quite a casual look and it would stop me from melting in the sun.
I still wanted to go for my striking makeup look, so I recreated the look I have in my summer skincare routine which you can see here. I sorted out my hair and went to get myself some lunch. As you know, I adore peanut butter, so it was only logical that I had a peanut butter sandwich on some whole wheat seeded bread with an orange.
After I finished eating, I went to (socially distance) meet up with my friends. It’s so lovely to see them, but whenever we meet, chaos ensues. In the first hour alone, we battled with branches, played an intense game of UNO, sung along to chaotic meme songs and more! I’m super grateful for my friends as they always cheer me up. After a while, we decided to go see our other friend so we began the almost-hour-long trek in the boiling sun, with only pints of milk and energy drinks to keep us going.
Once we finally made it, havoc took place. It’ll take far too long to explain it all so I’ll condense it. We hid loads of plastic babies, messed around with the hose and air soft rifles and my best mate shot me. All in all, it was a super fun day which ended with all of us sat on the grass, reminiscing about secondary school together.
After four hours of crazy fun, I went home to peace and quiet. I had my dinner (Indian food my Mum made – wooo!!) and watched the US Office with my brother.
At about 7pm, I started working on my blog and website designing. I have a newfound love for website designing and I’m obsessed with being creative and this is a great outlet.
I finished that at 10pm, watched some TV and did some artwork for an hour and went to bed, reading my book (BlackKklansman by Ron Stallworth) and then went to sleep, ready to do it all again the next day.
I hope you enjoyed this and please let me know what you want to see next! I’ve really enjoyed writing and posting recently and I’m hoping you all like it too!
Once upon a time, I was around my friend’s house and we were being ten-year-olds, messing around. My friend said there was a song a singer had released, and I had to listen to it. She said it was by Taylor Swift. Of course, I’d heard of the Miss Americana singer before, but I’d never watched her music videos. My friend showed me the iconic Blank Space music video and ever since then I was a Swiftie.
A few months later, I was in Bristol with my family and we were at the shopping mall Cribbs Causeway and I found the 1989 Album. My Dad caved and bought me the album and that was when my obsession began.
It’s not just because Taylor Swift is a good singer, she’s an amazing person too and through her actions and listening to her music which made me a stronger person when I needed to be. Two particular events she helped me through were life changing and no matter what happens, I know her music will be there to help me and raise me up when I really need it.
The first thing was the DJ David Muller V Taylor Swift groping trial. If you are unaware of this, long story short, Muller groped Swift at a meet and greet, and, after Swift spoke to his employees (KYGO) he was fired. This happened in 2013 and it finally got sorted out in 2017 – when I began getting assaulted. Hearing about how confidently Swift spoke about in the trial and how she managed to win the case for just $1 changed my way of thinking entirely and made me realise what this particular person was doing to me was not okay. Listening to her music made me realise that all the things that my abuser was tearing me down about were completely insane and that, for once in my life, I felt normal and accepted. When Reputation came out, my “friends” hated it, but I adored it. All the songs resonated with me in such a way and made me begin to accept myself. The lyrics were all about backstabbers and people pretending to be something they’re not and those few people who are there for you are gorgeous and amazing. Whenever I need a little pick-me-up I always blast Reputation and dramatically sing along to Look What You Made Me Do, Getaway Car and This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – it’s very cathartic and I always leave me room feeling like a total boss-ass-bitch – which I am!
The second time Taylor Swift supported me through songs was with my breakup with my abusive boyfriend. That break up hit me hard, but through some of her iconic songs and (some underrated songs) I realised that “I would find someone someday who might actually treat me well”. Not only did they help me get over this guy, but they also made me feel more confident in myself and I’ll never forget the days I just spent belting out Taylor Swift lyrics until I felt that I was “finally clean”.
All in all, Taylor Swift is one of my biggest inspirations of all time and everything she does is honestly iconic. From the #drunktaylor memes circulating Twitter, to her just casually donating to amazing charities just because she wants to, to her loving relationship with her mother, to her being so brutally honest in her documentary Miss Americana. No matter what your opinions are on her, I feel we can all agree she is an icon, legend and star.
After my abusive boyfriend left me, I realised I needed to make some changes around my life. In that relationship, I completely lost sight of who I was. My whole life was surrounded by other people’s lives – their happiness, anguish and pain and I quickly began to feel those emotions alongside them. I became surrounded by social media – obsessing over what I posted, over who said what. I lost the fun bubbly Tatiana I worked so hard on rebirthing after the sexual assault incident, then, after this boy left me, I realised I was but a shadow of the person I once was.
I felt broken and unfixable. I was back at square one with therapy and I had a whole new group of people to avoid and a load of rumours I had to try ignoring. I had no idea what to do but I knew I needed to do something. After a while I began speaking to the girl I’ve known pretty much since I was born (I’m afraid we don’t have any cool nicknames like I do with my other buds, but she does call me a goose a lot. I’m not too sure if that’s a good thing or not either but I’ll take it as an endearing term.) and she told me about something she found super beneficial to her mental health. For about a year, she had completely stopped going on all social medias and she found she still rarely uses them. I was dumfounded. At the time, it felt like my whole life was online and that I needed that anchor. In reality, the anchor was dragging me down.
For some background, I downloaded Snapchat and Instagram in February of 2019. I’ve had WhatsApp since I’ve had a phone and I had a Twitter account at one point, but I think that was mostly to stalk celebrities. I’ve also had Pinterest for a few months now. I had three different Insta accounts: one for my blog, one as my main one for all my mutual and a private one for friends. Overall, I think I had maybe 300 followers – please don’t quote me on that – I can’t really remember! As for Snapchat, I had one account with pretty much everyone from my year at school and a couple of others. I posted frequently on both and I was a very typical teen, posting constantly on my stories and ranting about whatever came to mind on my private stories.
After my friend spoke about how much happier she was off social media, I wanted a taste of some of that happiness. I deleted Snapchat and Instagram in February and I haven’t looked back since. I feel so much more connected with the world around me now and as corny as it sounds, I am really happy I chose to detox. My phone was my life, not a part of it and it was impacting me negatively.
Through this experience, I really have learnt who my true friends are, and I feel a lot less pressure overall about events and experiences. I began detoxing as my therapy and medication began to work and then the virus came about. All four of these events have helped me to eat regularly and healthily, become more self-confident, get out and active and spend more time with family and friends.
Of course, there are days where I just want to whip out my phone and scroll through Instagram and mess around online, but I don’t really feel this way anymore. I feel I am finally getting better and I am improving, and I don’t wish to put the life I have begun to live slip though my fingers.
Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, turning off social media does give you a chance to not be involved in drama and gossip. I find that if something is really important, my friends will text me, and nothings happened that’s that important. This summer, I am considering getting Instagram back as that is the only social media I really miss as I love posting photos. Snapchat however, I found this detox to be my lucky escape into a lifetime of childish fights that I didn’t care about.
All in all, try reconnecting with others more, it’s beneficial in more ways than one! Let me know if you found it helpful or any more advice you can give! Just remember: your life isn’t online and it’s okay to ditch the bs once in a while 🙂
This is definitely the most taboo subject I’ve written about. I have been working on this post since February and I’ve been editing, deleting, rewriting, and considering this article. Finally, I mustered up the courage to post it. Here goes nothing!
DISCLAIMER: This is in no way to diminish anyone else’s experiences; I am simply here to inform and place my views and opinions of the subject.
First, I think this will run a lot smoother if I explain my heritage to you. I am mixed race, half Asian (1/4 Guyanese and 1/4 Bangladeshi) and half white British. So, I could be as informed as possible, I spoke to all my grandparents, asking them about their heritage. I found it fascinating learning about all their histories, so I just want to thank all my grandparents, they were incredibly helpful, and I found it remarkably interesting looking at your lives. So, in their own words, here is their stories:
Grandad A – My Mum’s Father:
“Born in Guyana (previously British Guiana) on 17 March 1947 in a place called Ruimveldt – was a town about three miles from Georgetown, the capital of Guyana which is located on the Atlantic Ocean side of South America near the equator. We were a British colony with people brought there from different parts of the world: Indigenous American Indians, Blacks from West Africa, East Indians from India, Chinese and Europeans. Our language was English. Brought to Guiana from India by the British colonists during the latter half of the nineteenth century. My grandparents were indented to the sugar plantations where they worked in servitude for the rest of their lives. My parents though born in servitude were released from the sugar plantations towards the beginning of the twentieth century when Queen Victoria abolished slavery. family of seven sons and three daughters (one sibling dying at a young age). in 1964 my parents decided to send me to England to complete my studies in Accounting. I followed my three elder brothers who had emigrated to England as part of the mass immigration from the Caribbean to work in London transport, nursing, and clothing industries. College for a total of three years where I qualified as an Accountant.”
Grandma A – My Mum’s Mother
“I was born in India in 1949. This was about two years after India was split into two countries by the British who were ruling India at the time. The land was divided on the basis of which areas contained the most Hindus and which had the most Muslims. Hindus were allocated the vast central part of the country and retained the name of India and the Muslims were given two tips on the east and west at the top of the triangle and named East and West Pakistan. My father’s family came from Mushidabad which was situated near to Calcutta (now known as Kolkata). My mother’s father was in the tea business and his family had been in the trade for many generations. I was born in a small village near Darjeeling which is at the foothills of the Himalayas. It was and still is a beautiful region but, my parents left the area to move to East Pakistan as they were both Muslims and Bengalis. Both sets of my grandparents remained in India when our parents moved to East Pakistan. After a few years, my father was promoted and we moved to Chittagong which was the main port for East Pakistan he was promoted again and given the opportunity to move to England to be based in Liverpool to look after the welfare of the many Bengali seamen who travelled back and forth from Chittagong to Liverpool at that time. My father went to England as an employee of the Pakistani government and not as an immigrant. Over the years, he worked his way up until he became a Diplomat. By then, we were grown up and had started careers of our own. We all decided to settle in England.”
Grandad I – My Dad’s Father
“Born in Nov. 1943 in Middleton, a typical NW Mill Town, in the home of my maternal grandparents, William and Ethel Berry. My mother Winifred gave birth to twins, Janice and Robin, about 18 months later. When my father, also called William, came home from the army in 1945 we moved to a very small house directly opposite a textile mill in the poorer part of Middleton. The house was blessed with a bathroom, unusual for that part of the town, but the toilet was outside. In this part of town, the streets were still cobbled, and deliveries of milk were by horse and cart. My father had a brother, Samuel, and my mother had a brother Norman and a sister Ada all married and produced children. I am the eldest of that generation. We all lived within walking distance of each other. Robin, Janice and I were known as “latch key” kids in that our parents worked full time so from the age of about 9 I would meet up with my siblings after school walk home and let ourselves into the house, make a jam butty and go out to play. I failed my 11+ exam so ended up attending Secondary Modern School. Qualifications such as GCE’s were not offered at the school so I left in the summer of 1959 without any qualifications and started work as an assistant in the Laboratory of a local Textile Factory. Realising I would not get far in this environment without qualifications I set about obtaining some. Initially at Night School, 3 nights per week. These were 12-hour days with an expectation of considerable additional home study. This course of study I followed and eventually graduated in 1967 as an Associate of The Plastics Institute. I left home at the age of 16 and lived for 3 years as a lodger in the home of a friend’s grandma. I returned to live at home at 19 when my father had a stroke. I continued to live there until I got married in 1966 and bought the house, I was born in. I had to sell my Motor Bike to pay for the deposit on the house. Back to commuting by bus until I could afford my first car, a very old Morris Minor, in 1970. In about 1972 we moved to Uppermill in Saddleworth. A new position demanded that I relocate to the Midlands so in 1989 I moved to Leicstershire.”
Grandma D – My Dad’s Mother
“My parents were brought up on outskirts of Manchester. They lived a couple of streets from each other. Went to the same school. They married just after the war. I was born a year later and lived 5 doors away from my grandparents who had a hardware shop. My house was very similar to the ones you see on Coronation Street. A terrace house with a back yard. I left school when I was 15 to work in an office that did motor insurance. It was a very old building in the centre of Manchester.”
I began primary school in 2007. As crazy as it seems now, there were only five people who weren’t Caucasian. You had me, my friend who was Chinese, and two other kids who were Indian. When I was younger, I never really thought myself as different – mostly because I wasn’t. However, people are mean, kids especially. I can’t speak for the other four, but I was constantly questioned and scrutinized about my race. This, in turn, made me very insecure and unsure about my race. I remember asking my Mum why people always said I looked different and them asking me where I came from. I remember crying when I found out I was half Indian. As crazy as it sounds now, I had heard so many stereotypes about being Indian and I found myself never fitting any of them. I was always embarrassed to be asked about my race even though some people went on holiday and came back darker than me. I don’t know why my primary school looked down so much on Indians, especially as now lots of Asians go there. It’s crazy how times have changed, even in a mere five years since I left.
I never told my parents about this lack of confidence I had surrounding my skin tone until very recently. I think I finally opened up to them this year, explaining to them that I had a lot of kids tell me to “go back to where I came from”. My Mum was completely mortified and felt awful I never told her. To be honest, I think I did the right thing telling her when I did as if I told her as it was happening, I never would have gone through my journey of self-acceptance and I’d still be feeling unsure. I’m proud of my genetics because they make me who I am. I have my Mum’s smile, her beautiful black hair, and the same characteristics. I have my Dad’s height and insane sense of humour and vocabulary (we have an aversion to the big words my Mum uses).
As aforementioned, I was extremely insecure and unsure about my race. At this time I developed anxiety and it wasn’t easy as people I knew kept on complaining about how theirs “nO wHiTe RePrESenTatIoN iN thE MeDiA” [which is the biggest bit of insanity I’ve heard since they said I was asking to be assaulted – that’s another issue in itself though] even though they have almost all the Disney princesses and I’ve yet to find a mainstream TV show or film which includes mixed race people. However, I found a YouTuber who changed all of this. Her name? Liza Koshy.
Liza posted a video called “MIXED KID PROBLEMS | GROWING UP MULTICULTURAL”. Of course, being a fan of Koshy’s iconic and hilarious videos for some time prior and being a mixed kid myself, I had to watch this video. Watching it I felt as though I could finally identify with a social media influencer. She explained it better than I ever could so here’s the video if you want to watch it:
After watching this video, confidence in myself and my race began to grow and blossom. I referred to myself as “milk chocolate” and found myself being proud of who I was. This was a first for me and I seriously couldn’t have done it without finding Liza Koshy online.
It wasn’t until I was looking back on old videos of me when I was three or so this evening that I realised I looked up to other diverse women. The only difference between these women and Liza Koshy is the fact that these women are… fictional. I have an entire article explaining these characters but in brief, I looked up to Princess Jasmine and Pocahontas as they had long black hair and slightly tanned skin. I’m really happy that tiny Tati looked up to those two Disney princesses as a child as they are (in my opinion) the most forward-thinking Disney Princesses of their time. Seeing these women in mainstream media gave me the push to keep going long before YouTube was even invented.
Once I came to terms with my ethnicity, I realised how freaking cool it is to be mixed race. My Mum and her side of the family can cook the most delicious curries, chicken tikka and kebabs. Meanwhile, my Dad and his side of the family make the most iconic British meals and the tastiest cakes with gorgeous icing. It’s not just that, I have a plethora of religions in my family, and even though I myself am not religious, it’s so wonderful to learn about different cultures and expand my global knowledge. This got me thinking. Even though we’re all the same on the inside, we all have so many differences. Why to we fear those differences? Surely, we should embrace them! If we all embrace different cultures instead of introducing idiotic immigration laws and forbid different people from coming to our country, our country, nay our world, will surely be far more peaceful and accepting. Once we get this racial tension crap sorted, we can move onto equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Too far? I don’t think so. We should learn to love, and all be equal. I still can’t believe I’m having to preach this in the 21st Century, but I guess some people don’t listen. So, until they do, I’m going to be here, and I’m staying here, fighting to get everyone’s voices heard. And until we all accept each other, I’m afraid you won’t be able to shut me up buckaroo. Good luck trying – you’ll need it 🙂
This article has been a long time coming and so I’m going to talk about some issues we’ve had in the past four years. First, I’m going to dive straight into the controversy pool and say it. The way the media present terrorist attacks is the most bogus, insulting, and backwards way. Surely, you’ll still be able to get views on your trashy tabloid article without blaming… I don’t know, China for all your problems. How about we don’t place Muslim’s in the same category as mentally unstable killers? The media is the reason Megan and Harry decided to quit royal life. Why did they attack her so much? I’ll tell you. It’s because she was mixed race and had been married previously. I’m going to say it. Why on earth is that an issue? We are in the 21st Century! We have people making cars which can drive themselves and the media are focusing on the fact that this inspiring woman is not the stereotypical image of royalty. I know she’ll never read this, but if for whatever reason Megan Markle stumbles across this article, I want her to know that she inspires me so much and I hope to become as successful as her one day. If you want an even more recent example of racial tensions around the world, lets look at how people reacted when COVID-19 first came about. If people saw someone who “looked Chinese” sneeze, sniffle or even sigh, people ran a mile. What?!
It sounds a lot like I’m just preaching problems and, yes, while that is what I am doing, I’m here to provide us with solutions too. I’m about to get very political and even more controversial. If you have an issue with it, leave a comment and we shall discuss in a calm, cool, collected way. I’m open to other people’s opinions, especially in topics like this. Okay let’s dive right into the problem pool! As I have explained my issues with the media, here are my solutions: crack the whip on the IPSO code. No more trashy tabloid articles with nonsense news articles talking about how “the Jews are to blame for all our problems!” It’s 2020, we’re not under Nazi rule, so let’s not point fingers and find solutions instead of sitting down and complaining. There’s only so much a fifteen-year-old girl without any qualifications can do to get her voice heard, so I’m leaving that up to the older generations.
What else? Here’s one: let’s enforce the Human Rights around the world. We have so many organisations so we should use them to our advantage instead of listening to the leaders of our country threaten to build walls and pinning things on “post boxes”. If anyone in power is reading this right now – please contact me, I want this to be sorted because I do not want my nine year old brother coming home telling me that the colour of his skin is ugly and he hates it. No more please I beg world.
In simple terms, if you could just keep fighting the good fight – viva le resistance baby! Our identity is made up of so much more than just race so why are we so quick to define people like that?
If you enjoyed reading this article, please like it and leave a comment about your thoughts. This is by far the most exhausting post I’ve ever written, and it’s taken me months of planning, writing, rewriting, editing and compiling and I’m still not proud of it. It is currently 01:11am and I am going to publish this article and sleep. I love you guys, stay safe,