Quarter Life Crisis (240/365)

At one point the only crisis that was widely known was the mid life crisis, which occurs during the middle of someones life (40-50 depending on how you look at it), in which they panic about their achievements, goals, where their life is going and just generally everything.

The media sort of display it through big purchases (i.e. fancy sports cars) or someone quitting their job suddenly, and in some cases even through straight up hysterical behaviour. As our life expectancy has risen, and different sections in the process of ageing has taken place (think about how a teenager never existed), we’re now seeing a similar sort of crisis happen at a much earlier age and this is the quarter life crisis.

If you’re younger than 40 and are reading this post you probably already know what I’m talking about because you’ve experienced this and it’s honestly not fun. It’s usually defined by a feeling of not knowing where you’re heading, feeling hopeless, comparing yourself to people your own age who have ‘achieved great things’ and generally just a constant existential crisis.

I remember being knee’s deep in my quarter life crisis a few years back and just feeling like a failure. I didn’t have the ‘good job’ that everyone expected me to achieve straight out of university, and even though I never visioned a life with marriage and kids, the fact that people around me were doing this and getting praised for it felt a bit weird and did add to this. Which again was weird, I was genuinely happy for them and still am, but the fact that I’d been brainwashed from such a young age to define my life through the rigid set of goals which include a family is hard to undo.

I also have sets of responsibilities that other people don’t have which sort of come with being the oldest girl in a Somali family. The luxury of living for yourself and not worrying about your family all the time is something I didn’t realise loads of people had until I went to university. The concept of people not having to help raise their parents kids and feel responsible for them is still kind of foreign to me to this day and I live with endless jealousy of those who don’t feel this kind of pressure.

So personally my quarter life crisis had different layers to it, but for the most part from a lot of the conversations I’ve had with friends going through the same struggle the essence seems to be a feeling of being lost. Whether it’s in terms of career and doing a job that not only satisfies you but also pays you, or in life through other achievements like marriage, buying a car and owning a property. Personally I feel like the economic crisis’s we keep having has kind of just set a lot of this pressure on fire, so a lot of these goals are harder to achieve.

Honestly it’s all a bit of a mess, part of it is to do with societal pressure, some of it is cultural pressure and honestly the fact that everyone was told to achieve their dreams as a kid might also partly to blame because we weren’t prepared for the actual outside world, but who knows, that might be the pessimistic side of me coming out.

The Real Gender Traitors In Handmaids Tale (221/365)

Handmaids Tale is one of those shows that truly haunts you, especially watching it as a woman. You see the effects of a truly misogynistic society built on a bastardised version of religion that condemns sin in any way, including women’s rights and homosexuality. It takes traditional gender values and makes it the absolute law, with women having to practice their biological destiny, and in doing so this makes any form of homosexuality a crime punishable by death. They call lesbians ‘gender traitors’ (a horrific slur) throughout the show, as in Gilead’s eyes they are betraying their gender by not being with men and producing children. Take into account this is also a world that chops off the finger of any woman who dares to read, so they’re extreme in their repression.

This world see’s women only as vessels to serve specific purposes:

  • To be a mother (Wives)
  • To serve the household (Marthas)
  • To train Handmaids (Aunts)
  • To produce children for rich and powerful families (Handmaids)

As you can see the woman’s role is directly tied to how they can serve men, and no one truly benefits from it. The only women who exist with some form of status are the wives of the commanders. Commanders are powerful figures who essentially run the country and their wives given a status that is the highest a woman can achieve in this world – and even then they can’t do anything. They exist to sit and wait for a child, whilst also holding down a woman every month as their husband rapes her. They can socialise, have a little walk, but really all they do is reinforce the toxic society that punishes women for existing and allowing the ritual rape, torture and death of their own gender which makes them the true gender traitors of Gilead.

Especially Serena Waterford, as she helped build this world. She used her power and position as a woman to create a world where women are encouraged to live our their biological function. She went from writing books to sitting and sewing all in pursuit of having a child by any means necessary. As a woman, the fact that she helped create this world and the methods they use to fix the worlds infertility problem is a new level of disgusting. Her, alongside every wife is a real gender traitor.

Weird Shared Experiences of POC in a White Space (220/365)

I don’t know about you, but as a POC I find navigating white spaces have their own struggles that aren’t written about a lot. We see the fun sketches which sort of make it into a joke, but the fact that most people from ethnic backgrounds watch them and relate to them really does say something. Naturally this is inspired by lived experiences as it happens a lot and honestly it’s weird and funny.

Not knowing what to do when white banter happens

If you’re white you might not know what this means, but white banter is a special kind of humour than many people of colour just don’t find funny. Sometimes it’s difficult to pretend it’s funny and I have had many experiences online and IRL of just not knowing how to react. One thing I would say is learn how to have a good fake laugh, because if you’re like me and haven’t got one you’re just left looking very confused.

Listening to privileged conversations

Whether it’s about skiing trips or people refusing to take the bus, there’s a lot of conversations that happens out in the open that are seeped in privilege, and a lot of POC either can’t relate or can’t add anything to them because we’d just bring down the conversation with our lack of privilege. Then they do the thing that they do when they’re awkward about learning how the other side lives – it’s similar to the look they give when any discussion about anything controversial happens.

Being the only person of colour in the room

This is a weird experience in itself and here’s a few reasons why:

  • You get stared at a lot
  • You know for a fact that your inclusion in that room gives the big bosses relief because they’re ‘being diverse’
  • You have to set yourself up for a struggle of having to work 10x harder to gain respect
  • Did I mention the staring?

Honestly it’s just uncomfortable and it really teaches you about the sheer lack of diversity in a lot of spaces.

When you make the mistake of mentioning anything racial

So I just mentioned the weird look, this happens a lot if we talk about anything. It doesn’t even have to be racism, it can be about your home country or even a little joke about seasoning – they’ll get weird, shut down the conversation and really just make you feel like you lowered the tone.

Thinking they can touch your curly/textured hair

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have to mention it again. I don’t know why but these people love to touch hair that’s different to theirs, and they don’t even ask about it. I remember the first time it happened to me and honestly I was shocked, scared and violated – I am also a person who doesn’t like to be touched so that might explain why i felt scared. Honestly, don’t let this shit slide, tell them to keep their hands to themselves!

When they call something racial ‘exotic’…

How do you react to this shit? Because not only is it mildly racist but it’s also very confusing. A lot of the time this is said, it’s said with a lot of confidence and no regrets so it’s hard to call them out because they have a funny way of making you look like an overly sensitive villain.

I could write so many other points about this but I’ll stop here because it’ll just turn into a targeted campaign against specific people but honestly navigating predominantly white spaces is a weird experience. At the age of 25 I still haven’t figured out how to do this efficiently because I can’t assimilate for the life of me – please send help.

What Do You See When You See Graffiti? (172/365)

Graffiti is one of those things that has subconsciously become linked with inner city urban living, it’s become synonymous with danger, reckless youth and rebellion. When really it’s just another form of art, yes the tags of peoples ‘road names’ is a way of a gang marking their territory, but the rest of it is kind of amazing. Just because it’s not acheived through traditional art forms doesn’t make it any less artistic.

Yes, I agree with the ‘but it’s on public property’ debate, but then again, museums hold a lot of stolen art… so technically a lot of the art we gawk at in museums and displays don’t belong to the hosts and aren’t even given consensually. So if we’re going to criticise the morality of graffiti as art, you have to extend that thinking to all forms of art.

Now taking it back to the initial question – what do you see when you see graffiti?

Well in all honesty I’m mainly confused, because graffiti tends to be in high, obscure, hard to reach places – so I initially just want to know how someone got there and did it. Whether they’re ok and alive, and then I actually process what’s happening art-wise.

I am someone who does enjoy looking at graffiti, it’s a form of art and in most cases they look awesome, even the glorified tagging, it’s just a name but it’s done in a really nice way.

Some do look awful – I’m not going to only focus on the positives here. Some are also very weird, I don’t know what is with men and drawing penis’s but they love to do it, even in the graffiti world and it’s honestly weird. You also get the strange messages on bus or toilets, I guess that counts as graffiti, but it also counts as the weird trashy kind.

Yeh they’re not paintings hanging in a fancy museum, but that doesn’t make them any less artistic, at the end of the day someone found a canvas and created an art piece, and they should be appreciated. I personally don’t think graffiti ruins the look of areas, if anything it adds character – but I also live in the inner city, so I’m used to living in not the nicest of areas.

Honour Killings are Scarily More Common Than You’d Think (149/365)

We hear the term a lot in the media – ‘Honour Killing’ – but with every mention is the implication that it’s a far away issue. The idea that only people in the East do it, and that’s just not true. It happens everywhere, and honestly it’s scary as hell.

Honour Killing tend to be committed by close communities, family members and are murders that are done for the sake of protecting someone’s honour or cultural belief. The victims can be both men and women, but the latter is more commonly reported. Reasons for this horrific practice to occur “can include refusing an arranged marriage, entering a relationship with someone disapproved of, renouncing faith and behaving or dressing in a way thought to be inappropriate.”

Essentially it’s a way of policing peoples behaviours and typically ensuring that women don’t act in a way that their family disapproves of. Which can range from a lot of the points mentioned above, but premarrital sex, and not listening to their fathers is a big one – sometimes these actions are seen as bringing ‘shame’ on to the family. Hence the act of honour killing is supposed to wipe their family from that shame – but in reality it’s cold blooded murder and it needs to stop.

The toxic mentality of controlling family members through the fear of death and abuse is honestly fucked up in every single way. The fact that murder and acid attacks are a common fear amongst people in some communities really brings into perspective how common this is, and why it needs to be stopped.

We could sing and shout about how education will bring about a slow change, but in all honesty it won’t take long enough to help those directly affected right now. We need to bring about awareness and stop sweeping this issue underneath the rug – we also need to stop seeing this issue as the problem of ‘other cultures’ and recognise it’s a real fear that effects enough people for it to be everyones problem.

Honour killings are truly horrific and scary and that’s why this needs to stop! By calling out this behaviour we can also simultaneously create safe spaces for victims, or those who could become potential victims!