Sunday, 22 February 2015


Why do teenagers think they are invincible? Adults ask with a sly smile smeared across their lips and eyes glass – condescending. As if dauntlessness was the worst thing in the world, as if life has no time for courage or spontaneity or risk-takers or adventurers.

Their invincibility lies in the millions of minutes of their life that are ready to be grasped. It lies in the possibilities that drift around them, university counselling sessions and internet searches that leave the whole world up to be explored, discovered. It lies in the limits that wait to be pushed, the rules that beg to be broken. There exists no fear of failure, no echoing voice inside their heads telling them they’ll lose. Just do it, their voice says.

Teenagers are young, testing alcohol flavours over their tongue, trying to wrap their heads around what it means to grow up. Doing things they know they shouldn’t just for that second of exhilarating thrill. It isn’t that they’re unaware of death; it’s that they’re not afraid of it. Because racing on empty, foreign roads at undeterminable speeds with the roof down and the midnight wind tearing apart the strands of your limp brown hair gives a sense of freedom like no other. It tickles your bones, spills through your veins. That feeling that you belong to nobody, that you yourself have every ounce of control. That’s enough to live for.

And that feeling is what makes us so ready to take a risk, jump at the chance to do something that makes our stomach whirl and skin tingle, something that makes our heart race as fast as our feet running away from trouble, or running right into it. And either way, it becomes an experience. Something we’ll claim to remember forever. Until the next weekend, that is. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Good enough

I remember I was eight years old the first time I looked at another girl and decided she was better than I was. My own flaws were magnified by her lack of them. Her hair was silk, the type that would slip through your fingers if you ever tried to grab onto it, as if it didn’t have time for you. I was eight years old the first time I didn’t feel good enough.

The other girls were magnets, hypnotising every boy who wouldn’t think to give me a second glance. I was nothing compared to them. Their hips curved like expensive champagne bottles with gold detailing. My own resembled a cheap beer can. Their eyes sparkled like fairy dust while mine were glossed with regret, hatred, jealousy. I used to look at them. Soon I looked up to them.

I found myself drowned in envy, my pillow stained with my own sorrows, longing to be anyone other than whom I was. Words like worthless and pathetic snaked through my mind, imprinted onto my brain. I would never deserve the praise or affection, no matter how much I craved it. I wasn’t good enough.
I remember I was eighteen the first time I was able to look in the mirror and catch a smile playing on my lips. My hips were still square and my tank tops tightened around all the wrong places. But I stopped measuring my self-worth by the sizes sewn into my clothes, silenced the harsh voices echoing through my head and listened to the wise whispers. Those that didn’t need to compare in order to define. Those that reminded me of my own talents, my late night lyric scribbling, gentle guitar strums and songs that resonated, songs that meant something. The way I let pencils dance over pages, giving pictures a whole new sense of life. The way the corners of my eyes crinkled when I laughed, the freckles that dotted my cheeks. The voices that reminded me of my worth, no matter how far back I had buried it. Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates, they said.

I was eighteen years old the first time I felt good enough.