A poem on depression 

The world’s as dark

As can possibly be.

I’m locked inside myself,

And I can’t get free.

The world’s also blank,

Like a page without words.

As empty as I am,

So empty it hurts.

I’m surrounded by people,

But I’m still all alone

My mind’s in a scary place,

And I’m on my own.

I’m trapped in a cage,

I can’t get out

I can’t seem to breathe

Or see or shout.

I’m drowning,

Sinking really fast,

But someone’s hand

Reaches for me at last.

The world’s growing bright,

I’m finally free

I’m not empty anymore,

I can breathe, I can see.

Things are different now,

I know I’ll survive

I crawled out from the darkness,

And I’m glad to be alive.

Depression is a big deal and it’s often treated like it’s something that just disappears eventually, something that’s not important enough to pay attention to. But it’s not something to take lightly. It has to be treated with compassion and empathy. Mental health is just as important as anything else. I wrote this poem to talk about depression and how big a deal it is, but also to say that it’s possible to come out of it. That suicide doesn’t have to be the only option. That there are things in the world to live for. And that there are people in the world who care and can help. And I want to believe that there’s always hope in the world. That we just have to look for it.

Posted in Inspiration, Reviews

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings -Maya Angelou

‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ is the first book in a series of autobiographies by the African-American poet, writer, civil rights activist and my namesake, Maya Angelou. It is the most well known and most critically acclaimed book out of the 7 autobiographies. The book talks of Maya’s childhood and coming of age.

It barely took me any time to fall in love with Maya Angelou. Some friends of mine joked about it, saying it was because we shared a name and I’ll admit that maybe that’s a part of it (I am sort of obsessed with my name), but it’s also so much more than that. Maya was incredibly inspiring. She was strong and intelligent and persistent even through the toughest times in her life.

Being an African-American in Southern USA during a time when racism was rampant, it was difficult. Despite having to deal with racism, Maya also constantly felt like she didn’t belong anywhere. Her parents abandoned her and her brother when she was only 3 years old and she spent her early years in Arkansas with her grandmother. For a while, ‘white’ people barely seemed real to her. But later on, she started to feel the effects of racism. Due to her feeling of not belonging anywhere and the lack of any sort of physical affection in her life, she went through a horrible experience. She was raped when she was 8 years old and she didn’t even know enough to realize that it wasn’t her fault. She blamed herself for it and refused to talk to anyone, but her brother after the incident. The incident made her precocious and affected her life in ways she wasn’t quite equipped to deal with. But she pulled through anyway.

Maya had strong women in her life to look up to like her grandmother (Momma) and her mother (Vivian Baxter). She endured everything that came her way. She shunned the racist ideals in the world around her and as an act of defiance, she became the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco. She went through so many things and came out stronger. All of this made her so inspiring. The book, ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ was beautiful and it gave me a look into the early stages of Maya’s life while also making me aspire to be strong and brave and amazing like she was. Even her poems are very meaningful and the one I took a particular liking to was ‘Still I Rise’. The first few lines lines of the poem are:

You may write me down in history

    With your bitter, twisted lies.

    You may trod me in the very dirt

   But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

She’s my most recent obsession and she is absolutely brilliant. I have 6 more autobiographies and a lot of poems to read which I’m totally looking forward to. The cool part about this is that we share a name! That’s awesome! Even though ‘Maya’ wasn’t her actual name. You’ll know how she got the name if you read the book. Sharing a name with her doesn’t make me any greater as a person, but I know that I want to be like her.

Posted in Rants and opinions

Confessions of an awkward teenage girl

I’m awkward. And if you’re awkward, you know what it’s like. I’m so uneasy around people that it’s difficult for me to make friends. I struggle to make conversation with people and I honestly have no idea how others do it. It annoys the hell out of me when I just can’t think of anything to say to someone. And for an awkward teenager like me, being the new kid in school is the absolute worst. 

It has been seven months since school started and I still only know a minute fraction of the people in my grade. Barely anybody at school knows I exist. But I’m not saying I don’t like myself because of it. I love myself. And I preach about embracing imperfection and accepting our flaws so I kind of have to love myself. But sometimes it’s  just hard to get over the fact that I’m awkward. There’s this voice in my head that keeps whispering, “Honey, in case you haven’t realized, you’re invisible. And unless you don’t mind, you should probably do something about it.” So every morning I decide, “Today I’m going to talk to someone new. I’m going to initiate a conversation and maybe I’ll make a friend.” But I never follow through. 

I guess some part of me thought, when the academic year began, that my so called ‘awesomeness’ would just bring people to me and I wouldn’t have to try. Who was I kidding though? I guess I also overlooked the fact that I’m weird and moody and those things don’t exactly make me very amiable. And then I realized there were people in the world who were naturally charming and goofy and instantly likeable and I could never compete with them.

It’s been 6 days since the beginning of 2018 and I have two resolutions. One is not to skip breakfast and that I’ve actually managed to do. The other one is to make an effort to be just a little less awkward and try to get to know my classmates. I haven’t made much of an effort yet, but I plan to start next week. So good luck to me! I really hope I follow through this time. But I’m only here for another year and then I’m going off to college so I don’t suppose it’s that bad a thing if it doesn’t work out. I’ll have a chance to start over and make an impression, so I think I’ll be fine either way.

Posted in Rants and opinions, Why?

Why parent-teenager relationships suck

Here’s a question that occurs to a lot of people. Why is it so difficult for parents to be friends with their teenage kids? Seriously, why? Why is it that when we hit puberty, our friends become way more important that our parents? We don’t talk to our parents anymore. We don’t think they get us. We don’t think they’re cool. So here’s my opinion on this.

The thing about being a teenager is that we want to be treated like adults, but we’re still treated like kids. And yes, we’re moody and hormonal and stubborn, but even our parents were teenagers once. They’ve been through it too. That’s got to count for something. Except it doesn’t seem to help them when it comes to connecting with us.

One reason why is because they’re from a different time. When they were young, they didn’t have so many distractions as they so often remind you. They didn’t have gadgets and video games and bla bla bla and they went “outside” and played with their friends and bla bla bla and listened to music that wasn’t loud and offensive and bla bla bla. You get where this is going. But here’s the thing. I think that my parents’ generation is annoyingly opposed to change. They refuse to adapt. They think everything in their time was way cooler than things now. I’m not saying this applies to everyone or that it’s a bad thing really, but see why it’s difficult for them to connect with us? But, hey, it’s not entirely their fault though. We’re not ready to try and listen to the sort of music they like or try to do things the way they used to. We’re not trying at all. But come on! They’re the ones who want to be involved in our lives. We’re not asking for it.
Speaking of being involved in our lives, some of them try too hard. They make too big a deal of everything. That makes it difficult for us to want to communicate with them. About anything. They interfere in everything particularly things that you’d want to handle yourself. And it’s so not cool when you get your parents involved in something serious at school because then you’re just a snitch.

And that last statement leads me to peer pressure. I wish it didn’t exist, but it does. And peer pressure is what gives you an idea of what’s considered cool and what’s not. Adults seem to forget that peer pressure exists in school. It’s what leads us, sometimes, to think our parents aren’t cool. And it also leads us, in some cases, to do things we probably shouldn’t do. And in cases like that, it’s probably good for parents to get involved, but I think they need to give us a little room to figure things out for ourselves first. We want to be treated like adults, remember? We want to feel like we can take our own decisions and deal with things on our own. And I think we need a little bit of that freedom. To make mistakes and learn from them. But yes, we also need to know our parents are there for us in case we mess up really bad.

My point is, we want our parents to try to understand us and connect with us, but we also need them to give us a little space and a little freedom to feel like independent individuals who can do things on their own. And sometimes, we don’t need them to be our friends. A million times more than that, we need them to be our parents i.e. responsible adults who can reprimand us for doing stupid things because they love us and want us to learn.

Posted in Fun Stuff

Paradoxes to drive you mad

I came across these paradoxes that I think are really cool. If these drive you a little crazy, don’t worry.

  1. Grandfather Paradox– Imagine that you go back in time and kill your grandfather. By doing this, you prevent the existence of your father or mother, thereby preventing your own existence. If you don’t exist, it means that you didn’t go back in time to kill your grandfather. So that means your grandfather didn’t die, your mother or father exists and so do you. Aren’t you going crazy right now?
  2. Liar’s Paradox– This one is about a statement that states, “This sentence is false.” Now the question is whether this statement is true or false. If “This sentence is false” is false, it means it must be true because it’s claiming that the sentence is false. But if “This sentence is false” is true, then it must be false because it says it’s false. Suddenly these words don’t even make sense. It’s all gibberish.
  3. Barber Paradox– A barber only shaves people who do not shave themselves. Does he shave himself? Try answering it with a yes and then with a no. You won’t get anywhere.

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Wow! Right? You’re probably scratching your head right now. Aren’t you? Well, you’re not the only one going crazy. And it turns out that there are so many of these baffling paradoxes to make you go completely bonkers. I think they’re incredibly fun to think about though. People have tried to work around these paradoxes and come up with solutions worth checking out.

My current playlist.

Listen to ‘Dusk till Dawn’ by Zayn and Sia if you haven’t already! That song is amazing and I can’t get it out of my head! I’ve been playing it on a loop lately and I’m obsessed! And I think Zayn and Sia’s voices go together really well! I kind of just had to mention it! That’s what’s on my playlist right now! Oh wait. And other than that, ‘Despacito’ may have started to die down a little, but it’s still an amazing, really catchy song. Also listen to ‘Stay’ by Zedd and Alessia Cara and ‘No Promises’ by Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato. And that’s it. That’s all I have to say for now. Au revoir!

My obsession with the human brain

Hola amigos! It’s been forever since I last posted (not that anyone cares), but I’m glad to be back!

This is going to be a little weird though. You’re probably going to think I’m crazy. I think the human brain looks incredibly appealing. When I see pictures of it, I actually feel like eating it. You definitely think I’m crazy now!

Tell me this does not look appealing. I can’t possibly be the only one who thinks it does. I have a sudden obsession with the human brain now, so here I am, talking about it.

Anyway, you’ve probably heard of these myths about the human brain. Well, it turns out they’re false. I wanted to talk about some of these myths so here they are!

  • The popular myth that we only use 10% of our brains turns out to be completely wrong. We use most of our brain almost all the time.
  • This one was always my favorite. You know how we talk about left-brained and right-brained people? Well, there is apparently no such thing. We all use our brain as a whole so you can’t really differentiate between people based on which side of the brain they use.
  • Did you know that alcohol doesn’t really ‘kill’ brain cells? It only damages the connective tissue at the end of neurons.
  • There’s nothing special about listening to Mozart, although listening to certain kinds of music does improve memory and concentration. The Mozart effect has been debunked.

I’ve spent the last few days completely obsessed with brains. My obsessions usually last pretty long so I’m probably going to go back to fantasizing about eating brains. Sorry my first post in months is so weird, but if you’re reading this, you signed up for the weirdness. I hope you’re not really grossed out. I do like telling people I’m a zombie. Anyway, I’m done rambling about brains so bye!

Posted in Rants and opinions

Cyberbullying and Miscommunication on the Internet.

Electronic devices have taken away our ability to communicate properly with one another. It’s just so easy to hide behind a screen and say anything. Behind that screen, we can be anyone we want to be, say anything we want to say and actually feel safe while doing it. What we don’t realize is while we’re enjoying the freedom we get this way, we end up hurting other people. Sometimes it’s intentional. No one can catch you if you sit behind a computer screen and say harsh things to people so you feel the need to do it. Sometimes, you just feel so secure behind the screen that your darkest thoughts come to the surface. You end up being your worst self. Cyberbullies might just be sweet, caring people in real life. You never know.

Social media is a major zone for cyberbullying. The comments section is where most of it seems to happen. The victims are threatened, humiliated or harassed over the internet, but they can’t admit that they’ve been bullied online. The internet can do a whole lot of damage. Technology gives people a whole new platform to destroy each other. Humans are destructive creatures and we will never stop trying to hurt each other.

But people on the internet might say things they don’t mean or have their words interpreted in the wrong way. The internet causes so many misunderstandings that would never happen in a real life conversations. It’s amazing how your voice tone or facial expressions or physical gestures contribute so much to a conversation and prevent misinterpretation of anything you say. Why can’t people just talk things out face to face or over the phone? They could avoid a whole lot of nonsense.

Now that I’m talking about this, I should say that I was one of those people who sit behind the screen of their device and say and do the worst things. I acted out at some of my best friends and insulted them and I didn’t even realize what I’d done until it was too late. It’s weird how I transformed into a completely different person behind that screen. No one knew who I was anymore. It took me a lot of time to realize that I didn’t know either. I was just consumed by that other person. The Mr. Hyde to my Dr. Jekyll. The internet seems to bring out the worst in me. I’m angrier and ruder and just plain horrible. After it’s over, I play victim every single time. But I was never a victim. I was a perpetrator amd I’m obviously not proud of it.

I think important conversations shouldn’t be had on the internet. People have to watch what they say and make sure they don’t completely change into someone they don’t know. State your opinions, but don’t hurt anyone in the process of proving yourself right. Everyone you know loves the person you are in real life. Nobody likes the evil person behind the screen. 

The internet might seem like the best invention in the world, but it’s flawed, just like anything else. Don’t let it turn you into something you’re not because you might end up losing something important to you. And don’t ever say anything that could hurt someone you didn’t intend to hurt. Rude things you say on the internet seem right when you’re not the one getting hurt. Cyberbullying can even cause victims to want to kill themselves. And the bullies don’t even seem to realize they’re hurting someone quite badly. If we actually got it into our heads that it’s not okay to hurt someone online because no one can see or hear us, we might have a chance at stopping Cyberbullying.