This Year Of Adventures, being true to myself, standing up for what I believe in and being honest, is throwing up some interesting things. Some sad, some good, some interesting.
I have learnt that I really detest discrimination of any kind and judgemental people too I can quite happily live without. Believe it or not, I have actually lost friends this week for NOT being racist, homophobic or 'class-ist'. What a crazy world we live in.
This week, I am feeling quite angry. Unlike many of you, not about the riots. I am sad about the riots. Yes, I am annoyed with the people that have done it, and no I don't think their life experiences, whatever they may be, are an excuse for what they have done. But mainly, I am sad that they happened, sad for the people who have lost their lives and businesses and jobs, sad for the families of the metropolitan police in London who had to sit home with their children during the riots just waiting for their partner to come home, hoping nothing happened to them.
My anger, is reserved for two separate things.
The first thing, is anger for the reaction of many people to the riots. The fact that people can say, without thinking anything of it, that "it was the blacks", "it was the asians", "it was the benefit scum", "it's because they weren't smacked as kids", "it's because they came from broken homes". WHAT?? Anything to distance themselves from it, pretend that nobody that they could vaguely be connected with would have anything to do with it. It was individuals who rioted, not one specific group of people. It was people from many walks of life and all different areas of the country. By blaming specific groups, all that happens is the country becomes more divided, is that really helpful? I am just so angry that people can turn against each other so quickly. There are so many areas of my life, that I don't publicise, for fear of judgement. I don't keep them secret as such, but I also don't openly talk about them. Why? Because I am worried about being judged. But people need to realise that things are not mutually exclusive. For goodness sake, living on a council estate doesn't mean you are thick, and living in a 4 bed semi-detached doesn't mean you are clever. Being a single parent with children to two different fathers doesn't mean you wasted your life or had more than a handful of boyfriends, and having 4 children to one man doesn't mean you didn't sleep with 100 men when you were younger. I am sick to the back teeth of people thinking they are better or worse than others, and generalising about people's situations. The people who rioted were wrong. It doesn't matter where they are from or their background or their reasons, they should not have done it. End of.
The other reason I am angry? Well, that's more personal. Yesterday, was the first birthday of my angel nephew Isaac Edward Mundford. And I have been mentioning it on facebook the last couple of days and also other times in the past few weeks. And one of my close friends, who is on holiday, remembered last week before she went and gave me a hug. One of my close friends yesterday sent me a text and wishes. All of the people on facebook, who copied my status, or commented, or posted on my wall, or simply "liked" my status because they didn't know what to say, or text me because they wanted it to be private, well they are people that I like, and care about, and am friends with, and some I thought of as quite close friends, others I have only just got back in contact with or don't know too well but do like. But do you know what? The people that I (up until now at least) considered my closest friends, the ones that I try to be there for and spend time with and are first on my mind when checking how people are or planning a night out or a night in or just a christmas present list. Only 2 of those people gave me any thought at all. One, before she went on holiday, and one text me even though he is extremely busy and we haven't really talked much for a month and he's not on facebook that often. From the other people, nothing. And yes, I'm aware that posting this is going to mean I get a backlash. About how busy they are and how I didn't remind them and all the times I have missed things and how they are going through a hard time at the moment. But, do you know what, I can take it. Because friendships need to evolve, and if I have missed things and they are going through a hard time and I didn't know or say anything to help, then we're both at fault and I need to know in order for the friendship to continue. And because, true friends, can take criticism, can say "I'm really sorry I didn't say anything and I'm sorry I wasn't there and why don't I come down for a cuppa and we'll catch-up and start over". And because I am so full of all these feelings this week that I have to get them out, and if people take it the wrong way and stop talking to me because of it, then that's their loss.
This is not really a positive post. But it's not really negative either. It is good, that I am learning more about myself, being able to be true to myself, not sitting back and thinking that unsupportive friendships are the only kind I deserve because I'm not good enough for the other kind. And also, it's helped me see more clearly who are my true friends, who out of the people I've recently met or re-connected with or met through forums, actually should be in my "REAL friends" list, should be nurtured and more effort be made with on my part. And that is a valuable lesson to learn.