how can I become less? 

Where I am: in bed, Montrose CA feeling like absolute rubbish (in case you wondered) 

What I’m listening to: La La Land is on in the background.

It’s my last night in CA until who knows when, I’ve had a ball these last couple weeks with one on my best friends (I apologise to my snapchat friends for the snaps you’ve had to endure). In my quieter moments on this trip, I’ve been thinking about stuff. In my quieter moments I’ve definitely been overthinking stuff. I’ve been thinking about myself and my behaviours, my character. 

Over the last few years I have been told that I am ‘a lot to handle’; that I am ‘too much’. Not just by one person, once. There have been a few different people on a few different occasions. Every time I’m told that it seems to stick in my memory more.

I’m not quite sure what they meant when they said it. I have never known whether to take it as a compliment or an insult; I tend to lean towards the latter.

“Too much” isn’t something that’s normally associated with positives, is it? Too much by definition is “an intolerable, implausible or exhausting situation or experience” (Google)  Not something I’d like to be known as really.

So my question is how do I make myself less? Is it possible to make myself just enough, just the right amount? Do I make myself smaller? My voice? My attitude? Do I have less opinions? Should I be quieter? Or laugh less? 

If you have the answers please let me know.

I don’t want to be ‘too much’. I’d like to be enough. 

xoxo Micks  

The One With The Nostalgic Traveller.

Facebook ‘on this day’ kindly reminded me that this time last year I was in NYC having a fucking ball.

This year I was on a train at 6:20am. That got me all nostalgic for adventures before and excited for travels to come.

One thing I realised as I was scrolling through was that I travel differently now, that the reasons I visit places has changed. When I was in my early twenties I travelled because I could, I travelled to places so that I could see what was out there and maybe find my place in the world. I would never have dreamed about going back to the same place twice, why would you? There is so much world to see, I was always worried that it would never live up to my previous experiences. That view worked for a while, until it didn’t.

I’ve become a much more nostalgic traveller, I long to visit all of the places I’ve been to before BECAUSE I know they will rarely live up to my previous experiences; normally they surpass them.

When you first visit somewhere you’re a little bit blind to what to do, where to go, what is a must see vs what is a tourist trap. The second visit is a much truer version of the place – you know where you are, you know the things that you want to do rather than the things you feel you need to do because of the numerous ‘things to do in….’ lists in travel guides and on websites.

Travel has always given me a new perspective on things, there is something about being in a new place where you don’t know anyone that makes me reevaluate my life. The anonymity and no expectations of anyone that you meet or see (except those you’re with, but even those relationships feel different) give you a sense of freedom; or at least they do for me.

I have travelled a decent amount, not a much as some but definitely more than others. I’m so grateful to have those experiences and those friends that have come with me.

Here are a few of my favourites.

Valencia – The One That Changed It All

There is no way I could start this list with anything else. This temporary move to another country in 2010 with 3 girls I didn’t know is the one that changed it all and makes my heart smile the most.

I met my best friend in this city, realised that the Spanish really make everything better, fell in love and left a part of my heart behind.

 Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 11.44.16

Derry – The One With The Hangover

This city is a home from home now as my Irish brother and mama live here, anywhere they are is home for me. The trip to celebrate St Patrick’s day way back in 2012 reminded me why I don’t drink much and that the Irish can party like no other. Highlights of this trip include me dancing by myself in a club with the flag wrapped around me and having to sit down in the shower the next morning because I felt like death.

 Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 11.51.33

Barcelona – The One Where I Remembered How Much I loved Spain

When I got back from VLC after a week everyone, in the most passive aggressive ways possible, told me to shut up talking about it. When I went to Barcelona in 2011 with Momma Sophs, Jade and Wilf I remembered that all the reasons I kept harping on about Spain and the Spanish were valid and real. IT IS THE ONE OF THE BEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD AND YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND ON THAT OK.

 Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 11.56.16

The American summer – The One That I Needed.

June 19th – Sept 10th in the USA with some of my favourite people. This trip was the one I needed. The break from life we all crave sometimes I was lucky enough to have. I realised a lot about myself, what I wanted, my limits and it gave me time to reflect on things that had happened and let go of things that were never meant to be. The house of Rincon Ave became my safe place that summer. We saw so much that summer it is hard to pick just one thing that makes it stand out. Without a doubt the best trip I’ve ever taken. Just wow.

20130726_201642

Paris 2015 – The One With Disney.

 That’s all you need to know really. 2 of my best friends. Disney. 5 days. It was perfect, I laughed so much, rediscovered my inner child (which is never really far from the surface) and met Peter Pan. Life was perfect at that moment.

FullSizeRender[1]

Cape Cod 2014 – The One Where I Realised Family Really Is Everything.

 The best part about this is that I wasn’t even with my family. Mark and I hijacked my American fam’s vaca and it was the best. They are such a big family, and their love for each other is bigger. I love being surrounded by them, hearing their in jokes, laughing at each other and being let in to their homes and making memories with them. They remind me that family is what really matters, the world may be chaotic but so long as you have that little hub to come back to it’s all ok. I just need to remind myself of that when my family piss me off!

 FullSizeRender-1

There are so many more trips that I could list but unfortunately I am running out of time as I gots places to be. I’m off to make memories with my family in the best country of all, the one I call home.

Happy Easter, pals

 fullsizerender-5

What would your last meal be?

Imagine you’re on death row. What would your last meal be?
Kelly Gissendaner chose cheese dip and chips, Texas fajita nachos and a diet frosted lemonade. Who is Kelly Gissendaner? Those of you whom are up to date on current world affairs will already know, for those who don’t know, Kelly is the first woman in 70 years to be put to death in the state of Georgia. She was the only woman on death row. She was killed by lethal injection on 30th September, and sang the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ as she died.

Kelly had had her sentence postponed twice before due to bad weather and concerns over the cloudiness of the injection. Third time, she was not so lucky. Despite pleas to the US Supreme Court just hours before her death, despite her showing remorse and completely turning her life around in prison, despite Pope Francis (who is a complete G, can I just add) publicly stating that the death penalty is wrong and writing to Georgia officials to commute the death sentence of Kelly, her execution still went ahead.

What was Gissendaner’s crime? The one that gave her the ultimate sentence, the one you can’t undo? In 1997 she planned, BUT DID NOT CARRY OUT, the murder of her husband. Her lover at the time carried out the murder. He is currently serving life in prison, he managed to get that as part of a plea bargain with the court. Yes, you read that correctly. The murderer is carrying out a life sentence; the planner was executed.

Now, in no way am I excusing what happened. They both deserve life prison sentences, but it just seems odd to me that the murderer was able to have his sentence reduced by testifying against someone he worked with to carry out this awful crime. Is that really justice?

Slide1

I have always believed that the death penalty is completely outdated and wrong. Many would disagree with me, especially if you mention crimes in the realm of paedophilia, rape and murder. I oppose the death sentence for any crime committed. Why? Simply because I do not believe in ‘an eye for an eye’, I don’t believe the existence of the death penalty brings anything good to the world. Amnesty international says this about the death penalty
The death penalty is cruel, inhuman and degrading. Amnesty opposes the death penalty at all times – regardless of who is accused, the crime, guilt or innocence or method of execution”

 

I completely agree with them.

The Death penalty denies human rights (yep, that old chestnut), it is completely irreversible, and mistakes can happen. In the US alone over 150 prisoners sentenced to death since 1973 have later been exonerated – over 150 PEOPLE, HUMANS, were killed for a crime they didn’t commit. Many more have been sentenced to death despite serious doubts on their guilt.
Some argue that the death penalty is a deterrent for people committing serious crimes. Well, to that I say, you are completely, utterly 110% wrong. There is no evidence of this. In fact a 2009 study by Radalet and Lacock (THE JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW & CRIMINOLOGY Vol. 99, No. 2 Copyright © 2009 by Northwestern University, School of Law) came to the conclusion that the death penalty does not add deterrent effects to those already achieved by long imprisonment. In North Carolina the murder rate has declined since the state stopped handing out death sentences. (http://nccadp.org/issues/deterrence/) Research actually found that murder rates are lower in states that don’t have the death penalty – and this has remained constant for the last 2 decades. It’s not just a phase. It’s real. On top of that, many police officers – so those that deal with criminals day in, day out – have stated that they believe the death penalty to be the least effective tool for crime fighting.

The death penalty was outlawed here in the UK finally in 1998, the last executions took place 50 years ago in 1964. I find it scary that it is still ok in so many places to kill someone under the title of ‘justice’ and ‘law’. In my opinion it’s not right, like I said, I have never believed in ‘an eye for an eye’. Even Jesus didn’t believe in it (Matthew 5:38).

Slide1

My ex-boss and friend Denise has always said I believe in a world where everyone should be friends and get along, which is never going to happen, but I really think that that would be the best kind of world. Whilst I know that that will never happen, at least not in my lifetime, I do think a world where there is no such thing as capital punishment is a step towards that kind of world. No one has the right to take a life, whether you cloak it as law or not. That’s my opinion anyway. What do you think?

Xoxo

Micks.