Saturday, 30 August 2014

Dear Friend: A thought: social networking

Dear Friend,

The internet is strange. More specifically, social networking is strange. It creates a new space in which we must be living or else it is believed, in some form on another, that perhaps we no longer exist. Our lives are documented day in and day out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the list continues. If for one day of our lives we choose not to write a status locating our whereabouts or take a photo of the view we are standing before or hashtag those with us, it must be assumed we are doing nothing. That our day is empty just because it isn't publicised for everyone to see.

Of course I'm not saying that this is the life everyone leads. I'm simply suggesting that it is strange. The way that one day of facebook inactivity now induces panic in those around us. Are we still alive? Are we ill? Have we been moved halfway around the world and been banned from communication?
The sad part is that sometimes these questions are answered with a yes. For some that really is the only reason why contact is lost rather than simply being a sign of them leading a busy life. Of them choosing to talk to people in person about their day rather than over the false 'personal' description that a status provides to friends and family.

Sometimes we become so used to knowing someone is still existing simply from the updates on our newsfeed that when there's radio silence, for even the shortest time, panic sets in.

Technology is amazing and it allows us to maintain communication with everyone every minute of everyday. Yet in a way it's too much. We have become so accustomed to assuming that everyone is somehow accessible and 'there' all the time that when they're not, we can't understand.

What needs to be remembered is that people live a life outside of social media, outside of the internet and their laptop or mobile phones. There is a person on the other side of that screen who is living their life. The point is that if they are really someone we care about, and who cares about us back, we should know that they are there even without their name popping up on our Facebook chat, Skype or on our Twitter feed.

People are real. We're not just names on a screen.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Dear Friend: a haiku

Dear Friend,

I don't know how to write what I want to in normal letter form but, in the last year, I have developed an interest in haiku so I will try and express how I feel as such:

His life is his own,
The future is uncertain,
He should smile: trust.

Yours faithfully,

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Dear Future

Dear Future,

I don't know you yet but perhaps you know me. Although we've not met and we never will, you terrify me, you always have and I've never been as worried as I am now. I think about you all the time and wonder if you'll give me tears of joy or sadness. I wish I could see you and know what you're bringing but I know I can't.

I'm not good with surprises at the best of times but, recently, not knowing has been the hardest it's ever been. While you could bring me who I'd love to see, you could also take them away for ever.

I don't think you realise the power you hold in the secrets you keep. I don't think you understand that one moment you make could change so many emotions. You're always one step ahead, always winning the race.

You change lives and not always for the better and I hope you understand the desire I (and many others) have to see you early. To see you before you do whatever it is you're going to do. To give us a warning, to allow time to prepare, and perhaps (although I hope more than anything that there is no need) to cry.


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Dear Magical Friend

Dear Magical Friend,

I call you that because of the way you appeared in my life as if from nowhere. One day I didn't even know your name and the next moment you were the most important person in my life.

This is just a letter to thank you for noticing me. To thank you for talking to me in the library even if it did mean I didn't get as much work done as I wanted to. To thank you for making me smile when school, exams and all that joy was getting me down. I was really finding school tough and you helped me to relax, to take a break and just, as you would say, chill. That ability of yours, in itself, is magical too.

So basically, to summarise, thank you for being you: a new, amazing and magical friend.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Dear Little Friend

Dear Little Friend,

This is just a quick note to say, as I sit here next to you, 5 years old with the whole of your life ahead of you, although the world is not filled with dinosaurs and little sand creatures, it is full of other wonderful adventures.

You're just learning to read and write and although you don't know it now, as I didn't know it when I was five, those skills are two of the most magical skills you will ever learn. I hope when you're bigger you follow in my creative footsteps (not the science steps of your uncle, my brother...even if he is very clever).

I hope that, whatever you do with your life, you are happy. You are the funniest little madam I have ever had the pleasure of seeing grow up and I can't wait for the years and years to come watching you become a, perhaps slightly grumpy, teenager and a lovely, clever and wonderful young lady.

More than all of this though, I hope the memories of your days at your Auntie Ellie's house never fade.

Much Love, Your Aunty

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Dear Peter

Dear Peter,

It’s been approximately eighteen years, 7 months and 3 weeks since I was born and a little less than that since you saved my life. I’ve heard the story often and each time I look at my tummy I can see the scars to prove it: had it not been for you and presumably a team of other wonderful surgeons, doctors and nurses, I doubt I would be here today. I could have written this any number of times but, having just finished school and no longer having any idea of what my life will bring, I saw this as a wonderful time for reflection.

I’ve always grown up as someone who likes to know what is happening and goes berserk when plans are changed. You can imagine then how the prospect of a whole entire world open to me and my decisions is incredibly daunting. I may go to university in London and join my brother or I may find something to do in the next year that I love and want to continue with more than anything. I’ve never really been an education girl: I do well, but sitting in a classroom being recited facts and figures about volcanoes is not really my thing. I want to be active, not a passive listener but someone who talks to people not at them. I want be out in the world rather than shut up in an office, closed in by the weight of documents and deadlines that makes up the corporate world. The fact that I have any of these decisions to make now must have seemed an impossible concept to my parents 17 years ago as they watched me being wheeled away from them down a hospital corridor.

I’ve been lucky and have not had to return to those corridors too frequently but when I think of the JR I am taken back to my early childhood and the times before any concerns about my future had even entered my mind. I can picture the annual visits to see you: the way you’d tell me you could see the teletubbies in my eyes, the waiting room with the little play pen, even the water cooler standing to the left of the rows of chairs and sometimes I can conjure up the other children that I saw come and go through the waiting room. I don’t remember when the teletubbies stopped or when you were no longer my doctor or visiting me at my appointments but it has been a  while now. Although I don’t go to the JR all that often anymore, when I do I always hope to bump into you. If nothing else I want to thank you for the life you let me live. So far it’s been amazing and with my whole life ahead of me, who knows what else there is to come.

Best Wishes,