The other day I looked in the mirror. I was surprised to see my face. My fat nose, too small eyes, not full-enough lips and always unshaped eyebrows. I’m really selling myself, I know. I am an advocate for women, yet I will sit and berate myself and easily drive myself to the tipping edge thinking about all the ways I’m unhappy with the way I physically look. I walk into rooms, meetings, spaces and I am almost everyday crippled by the idea that I am taking up too-much-space.
Here, I will talk about the way I feel about my physical body when I am in social settings and how crippling that is and, why I am hyper aware that I am taking up more space than society has allotted to me. I am aware of this. I worry about being perceived as lazy and dirty. People must think I don’t care about myself. These are all the things I think in silent moments or before I walk into a social situation. I shouldn’t care what boundaries society has set but as with many things, that is easier said than done.
Lately, it seems every conversation goes round in circles and finally it lands on marriage. I’m of age, at 24 actually i’m more than old enough to have been married and some conversations even derail as i’m told girls within my community younger than me have children already. 24 might as well be 40.
Sometime last week it was 19 Years Later. It was the beginning of the final chapter in Deathly Hallows and just to say those words, upsets me.
I’m late to every trend and usually just forget it but I really wanted to post something I wrote.
Everyone has their own Harry Potter story. I don’t know why this book series captured the hearts of readers across the world the way it did. I read Harry Potter as a kid. I re-read the books almost every year and dissolve into a world that is filled with such welcome, loyalty and magic (not just the wizardy-kind) that I am filled with #happiness. I leave the pages of these books behind me every time, again and again filled with a #strength, a hope inside me the world around me drains everyday. And every time I need an escape, I return to Hogwarts, because it’s always there to welcome me home.
On each page, in each fold and tear there are memories, thoughts and feelings that I have left in the magical world J K Rowling built. Things that were too heavy to carry or too complicated to process during my childhood and teenage years, I left in Hogwarts, at the Shrieking Shack, at Hogsmeade. I let the characters in each book, my favourite people in the entire world carry me through, page by page, as real life continued to happen and the loyalty of those characters never wavered.
I remember in a random conversation I mentioned to our social worker that I wanted to read Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix but I couldn’t because Mom couldn’t afford to buy me the book and the library had a long wait list. I really didn’t expect the conversation to be remembered, I was a kid who wanted a dumb book, who cared? Apparently my social worker did. I came home from school and my Mom told me that I’d been left a present – it was a book. Yes, it was my very first Harry Potter book. It wasn’t borrowed from the library or a friend. It was my very own copy. It was my goodbye present as our social worker has finished working with us. I’m not sentimental over many things in my life, but I appreciate that book, a lot.
Even now, as a reluctant-adult when I read Harry Potter there is a sense of comfort and familiarity.
I don’t understand people who don’t read because look what reading gave me and continues to give me. I couldn’t imagine my life without all these witches and wizards and this world.
Last week’s Sunday Times paper published a story about 5 year olds wearing hijab as school uniform. The paper also suggested that schools and headteachers “had come under pressure to parents or religious leaders to change uniform regulations.”
Since then there has been much debate and discussion online. Though there are many agendas at play here, I’m going to attempt to put forward the pro-choice side of this debate. I am not saying that young girls should wear the hijab or that they shouldn’t, I am saying they should be given the opportunity to make the decision themselves and that decision should be respected.