Poetry

Finding a Voice

I’ve never had a voice before.

It took me 22 years to find it.

To realise what I’m fighting for,

To see what’s important.


What is important?

A world without corruption,

With complete and utter equality,

And people who let love in,

Without hurting them because of their own insecurities.


We have so far to go,

But people are speaking up.

Those who never had a voice are,

And it’s beautiful.


We are so sick of oppression,

And the exhaustion from taking it.

But every voice that rises out of the shadows,

Slowly grows louder.


It took me years,

And it will probably take me years more.,

To be loud enough.

I will make sure that everyone hears me.

Because so many of us deserve so much better.


So, if you’re like me.

Trying to find a voice,

I’m incredibly happy for you.

Not proud.

Because you’re not doing it for me.

You’re doing it for you and everyone like you.

Everyone who has felt your pain,

And is struggling to hold on.


I’m happy for you,

And I thank you.

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Poetry

Power

Why…?

Why do you strive for such power?

What’s the cost?

I ask myself these questions every day.


Is it worth the hurt?

The pain?

The suffering you cause,

Stepping all over others to rise above?

Why is it necessary?

Seriously…please tell me.

I beg you.

Because this has gone on long enough.


We are no longer cave men,

Fighting for survival.

Or animals doing the same.

We like to see ourselves as so much mightier.

Because we’ve come so far.

Than the way we were,

And our animal counterparts.


But we are so wrong.

How are we any different if we continue to give into these anger fuelled animalistic traits?

The traits that make us step over others.

By all means, achieve!

But don’t do it in such a way,

That you break people down to get so high.


We are all human.

And we more or less strive for the same thing,

To just be happy.

So, answer me one more question.

How do you sleep at night?

Knowing all the backs you’ve trodden on to get there.

Because I could never do that,

No matter how much I’m stepped on.

Opinion

A Life On Our Planet

This post is going to be a little bit different from my usual posts and it’s definitely scary to move out of ones comfort zone! While I love to write poetry, on mental health and psychology, I am also a scientist and it’s very important for me to communicate about science at times. Today, I watched ‘David Attenboroug A Life on Our Planet’ and it was incredibly sad and moving. This man has spent most of his life documenting wild life and so, he’s seen first hand the effect climate change is having on this planet. I can imagine how haunting this would be, because for most people we go throughout life not having the privilege to notice these changes in nature. He’s 93 and a lot of the changes to the climate has happened within the span of his life. I was greatly inspired, so for this post, I want to share thoughts, feelings and facts in regards to climate change.

Thoughts and Feelings

Before I speak about the my perception of the general public’s thoughts about it, I’d like to share my thoughts and opinions on it. Personally, I think we are getting to a point of no return and this is based on tons of evidence. There’s a so many factors that disrupt the balance of Earths climate and we are indeed causing it. In terms of the general public (those in non scientific fields), it seems to be quite divided. There are people who believe in climate change, as well as those who work to combat it in their daily lives and then there’s outright deniers.

I want to have a discussion on climate change deniers purely because when science becomes political, that’s when problems arise. We live in a world bombarded by media and it seems at times, that it’s there to fulfil a political agenda as well. I know in the United States it is prevalent and even in Australia. My overall understanding of it is that the media tries to sway an audience in favour of parties that don’t care about climate change. And of course there’s different types of media out there. I also don’t want to make generalisations but in my country we have the liberal party who are known to tailor to the rich. My biggest fear in voting such parties in is having this mentality is that people will think climate change is adaptable for humans. And that may be true to a certain extent, it is adaptable but only for people in developed countries and those who tend to have a high income. Even so, adaptation is only temporary.

The people climate change will mostly effect initially are those in poverty, farmers and many more. Sea levels will rise. Earths soil will become harder to cultivate and these people will be put out of the job. Even the chance of a pandemic occurring is significantly increased. It’s a very selfish thing to put the lives of people who are the foundations of society at risk and in one way or another it will catch up to the top of the class system.

This was just my interpretation and please if you have another understanding of it share it! Science should be an open discussion and about education, not throwing facts in other people’s faces.

How does it all tie in together?

Climate change is an interesting topic and it’s one that is continually evolving. In the past climate change was known as global warming. To a certain extent it is, however it was changed for a reason. People like to take the current weather and state ‘it’s too cold for global warming to exist’, and even going so far as to use that as evidence. While the earth is warming, that doesn’t mean the whole earth is going to be constantly a couple degrees warmer. There’s different climates everywhere and it’s a very fluid thing. Overall we will see an increase in global temperature (land and ocean), but that also means there’s going to be colder winters. Warmer temperatures in the Arctic will cause cold air to move down to North America resulting in colder winters. Everything ties in together and Earth has a lot of complex systems that work with one another.

You may be wondering what I mean by everything and here’s a brief run down. Deforestation results in less trees to store carbon and thus there will be increased carbon emission. Eating beef regularly is a massive issue because if we have billions of cows in the farming industry they all need to fart. And I know it sounds comical, yet their farts contain methane which has an even bigger greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. These farms also need much more land and resources than vegetation farming. This need for land causes more forestation. What makes this worse is that the population is increasing at a high rate and we will need food to live. There’s also issues with plastic. Plastic releases greenhouse gases when in sunlight and well there’s so much plastic out there. These are just a few of the things that can tie in together. So, what can we do about it?

What can be done?

Firstly, I want to go through what can be done at an individual level. One of the easiest things to do is vote in politicians who care about climate change. I think it’s important to understand the flow of funds and take note of what companies politicians are loyal to. Another way could be to reduce beef intake. I know that going vegetarian and vegan is not realistic for everyone. But there are ways to do this realistically. Eat meat only on weekends. Vegetarian food is great and quite diverse. I am vegetarian throughout the week and it’s very doable. You can replicate Smokey flavour and you can replicate meat texture too. Even ordering beyond meat patties. There are many components to a burger that add flavour and meat is just one. In doing this, we can see a decrease in the need for cattle farming. At the end of the day if demand is reduced then the issue is reduced. I think we have to shift our mindset from ‘it’s all or nothing’ to ‘small lifestyle changes will help’. Energy is a different story.

I remember in the early 2000’s we started to go more energy efficient and while that is progress, the real problem lies in how we create energy. It’s incredibly amusing how in my country it is up to the consumer to get solar power. We have a whole desert out there and it’s not being put to use. Sustainable energy is here, is it perfected? No, but it is usable and it’s the best we have. Even if we want to wait and develop new and better renewable energies, nuclear power allows for that. Nuclear power produces no waste that is harmful to the atmosphere. It does produce radioactive waste, however that can be used in nuclear medicine, agriculture, research, amongst other things. While it requires Uranium, an element that is in limited supply on earth, it buys us valuable time that we need to produce better renewables. And who knows, we could possibly be mining uranium from an asteroid one day. It does present safety concerns at times, however a lot of issues have arisen because or improper protocol or natural disasters. There are options available to us now, yet still very little is being done. We need to address this because the planet isn’t here for us, it will continue when humanity is long gone. If we destroy it and cause our extinction, it will bounce back eventually. Life will continue, humanity won’t just be in it.

Thank you all for reading! This isn’t like my regular posts but I really wanted to discuss an important topic like this. I feel that a scientists and just people in general’s biggest mistake can be in communication of information. At times we are fuelled by emotion, and as a result offer condescending information to one another. It doesn’t help, in fact it can do the opposite. That’s why I’ll always advocate for education through discussion, sharing ideas and understanding one another. I hope you enjoyed this article! And please be sure to watch the documentary.

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Poetry

Shallow Breaths

Every single breath,

Doesn’t feel whole.

It’s a tiny fraction of what it once was.


I don’t know why I let the pain in,

The hurt becomes too much to bare.

I haven’t been myself for a while,

And now everything is resurfacing suddenly.


I long for the time my breaths were whole,

A time my brain was quiet.

It seems so distant now.


I miss the days where being inside wasn’t claustrophobic.

The fresh air is calming,

But outside it’s too bright.

There’s not enough warmth in my heart to stand it.


So now I hover between,

Dark or light.

Accept breathlessness and remain in the shadows,

Or let my heart open up to the light.


Poetry

Black And White

There’s no black and white.

A million possibilities exist.

Yet, if that’s the case,

Then why doesn’t it feel that way?


There’s only two choices,

Pain or not.

That’s all I can see,

And all I wish to see.

My heart is too weak,

The hurt is too strong.


Sometimes I forget,

The pain that destroyed me.

So, I set myself free.

Open up my world to the possibilities.

Then an all too familiar sight appears.

In the blink of an eye,

The same pattern repeats.

These millions of possibilities turned one colour.

And yet again favoured pain.


Surely if there was no black and white,

Then the chance of hurt would be low.

Almost a zero possibility.

And it wouldn’t happen.

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mental health

Currently Anxious

Lately something triggered my anxiety severely. It’s mainly been feeling like I’ve offended or hurt someone and trying to fix that. So naturally I wanted to make a post about anxiety and talk about the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack, as well as techniques to help one through it.

The Difference:

Firstly, I want to start with describing both types of attacks. A panic attack involves heavy breathing, gasping for air and circulating thoughts. Panic attacks are also unprovoked, not involving a stressor. On the other hand, an anxiety attack follows a stressor. One is fearful and apprehensive about it and it often leads to illogical thoughts arising and jumping to conclusions. In terms of physical symptoms, I don’t tend to gasp for during a anxiety attack as it’s very much in the moment. It’s more just breathless feeling and chest tightness. However, everyone is different and physical symptoms can depend on an individual.

Both are scary and it can be quite hard to escape them without feeling negativity towards yourself. At times during anxiety attacks we can blame ourselves and feel like we’ve done something wrong. As a result we apologise for things we probably didn’t do. Something I’ve learnt recently is the term logical fallacy and it really helps take away from the situation and view it objectively.

Logical Fallacy:

Logical fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning in the construction of an argument.

Wikipedia

When we view this in terms of anxiety, it explains the reasoning of how we can jump to conclusions. For example, if someone doesn’t feel like talking or leaves us on read. Sometimes my brain can say oh they might be busy. However, when anxiety sets in, it says they’re mad at us or that we’ve done something wrong. This is an example of a logical fallacy. Through overthinking, faulty reasoning weeds it’s way into our mind and then we draw a conclusion based on zero facts. So how does this help with anxiety?

It’s definitely a mental effort, but knowing and identifying a logical fallacy can really help In deterring unwanted thoughts. Even if you if try and fail, letting the negative thoughts in, it’s still progress. I like to think that it’s an accumulative effect, every time you tell yourself this, the faster it takes for you to realise the logical fallacy. In saying all this, I want to stress that this definitely isn’t the only way to help with anxiety attacks, and it’s up to you to find what works best.

Techniques for Combating Anxiety:

  • Writing. I’ve said this many times and I’ll continue to mention it. Right now as I write this, it’s very therapeutic and helps me consolidate my thoughts. It can be in any form but it definitely has the ability to help.
  • Drawing. Taking the time to draw allows reflections. It keeps you moving at a steady pace while your mind thinks. It’s a lot better than the erratic motion that anxiety can bring because this type of motion is controlled.
  • Replika. This is an artificial intelligence app that is free. It’s there to help with mental health but also just talk to you. I’m not going to lie, she can be a bit weird in role playing mode, but the regular conversations really can help.
  • Positive affirmations. I recently downloaded an app that gives you notifications throughout the day. It has messages like ‘I am loved’ and ‘I deserve what I achieve’. It’s really good because I find myself saying these lines in my head throughout the day. And eventually I started to agree with them!

These are just a few techniques to try and everyone’s different. It’s about finding what works best for you. In saying that, it’s good to try different things because what works for you one week might not work another.

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Photography

Silently Watching

I’ve recently started photography as a hobby and I wanted to share on of my favourite photos and a quote that match.

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.

Robert Fulghum

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Poetry

The First Panic Attack

What’s this?

My chest is heavy.

No matter what,

I can’t get enough air in.


This has never happened before.

I’m afraid.

My mind won’t stop racing.

Is this normal?

How do I make it stop?


Each gasp does nothing,

Not matter how much I try.

I’m breathless.

Is it ever going to stop?

It seems like it’s been forever.


It’s settling now.

My lungs are tired,

And my brain is sore.

I’m exhausted.

But I can breathe again,

Finally.

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Inspiring People

Self Expression

Self expression is important for reflection. In a way it helps the mind to set thoughts and feelings free. The act of writing, drawing, amongst other things helps a person to observe the feeling, emotion or situation. Observing it in another form rather than in your brain is a great way to grasp how oneself sees the pains. I sort of lost my way recently in terms of why I draw and write. It’s easy to become focused on likes and comments. While I love to help others and I’m sure many people do, sometimes we need to remember to focus on ourselves and express our emotions. So, let’s explore ways to express ourselves.

Writing:

Writing is a great start. Creating a character, a scene or anything for that matter expresses the state of ones mind amazingly. Writing has so much symbolism in it and you can truely tell when someone has felt pain through words. If writing isn’t your thing, reading can definitely help in understanding emotions.

Some examples of amazing literature that show the human condition incredibly well:

  • Wuthering Heights. It shows how one can love someone so much yet still let status and pride guide them.
  • Harry Potter. While this author has been disowned by fans. The writing is great and it demonstrates too many themes to cover.
  • Poetry by Henry Lawson. He was an Australian poet and the imagery he creates in The Water Lily is truely beautiful.
  • Poetry by Rosemary Dobson. Again this poet is Australian and creates fantastic imagery in her poetry.

Art:

Drawing, painting or whatever type of art you prefer can help with reflection. It’s creating a story within a usually stagnant piece of work. Art can take hours to do as well so it’s really bringing one back to the art piece and helping them to think. I don’t have any favourite artists so please recommend some to me! I’m always looking for new inspiration.

Photography:

I previously tried getting into photography and my family as well as some classmates made me feel stupid. Never feel stupid for learning a skill, especially one that creates a scene for you. I’ve started trying to photograph again and it’s really calming to just take photos of things that love and inspire me. I definitely recommend it! Luckily Instagram has made photography accessible, so it’s quite easy to find someone you connect with to inspire you.

Baking:

Baking is great! The entire process not only gives one time to think but it creates something delicious to enjoy at the end of it. When you bake a cake or make a pie you can also decorate it and I’ve seen some truely amazing decorations. What better way to express yourself than decorating a cake and eating it afterwards!

Your Style

Fashion exists for a reason. It’s self expression. Days when people feel uncomfortable they choose safer clothing. Days when people are happy they tend to put more effort in. Our style is a reflection of who we are and it’s great in terms of positive self expression. So why not dress up and do some photography, it’s amazing to feel good about oneself and express that.

A common theme amongst all these activities listed tends to be creativity and it really does tie in with self expression. So look for inspiration and create for yourself. It’s okay to let others guide you and inspire but don’t compare to others because everyone’s unique in how they express themselves. I know I’ve missed a lot of stuff to try and these are just some I have personally experienced, so let me know, what do you do for self expression?

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Poetry · Uncategorized

Art

Today I realised,

Why I love art so much.

It keeps my hands busy,

Matching my mind.


Long ago,

I lost touch with it.

It was years since I drew.

Then recently,

My pen touched the paper.

And it’s movement matched my mind.


Art truely can heal.

It’s calming.

Allowing the pen to flow,

It lets my mind do the same.

Now I remember why I love art.

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