The types of friend you have in your 20s…

The party girl: this is the girl who is always up for a night out. She gets you into all the cool, hip bars and is essentially the best wing woman you could ever have.

The guy you should be dating: this is the guy you have been friends with for so long but should be romantically involved with. You guys hang out for extended periods of time and can cuddle without thinking anything of it. Lock it in before it is too late. 

The friend of a friend: these are the people that you see at parties because you have the same mutuals. You may be friends on Facebook it that doesn’t mean you are ~friends~. 

The friend who has the same hobbies as you: this is the person you can do things with, such as see live music or a sporting event because you have the same hobbies. No one thinks it is weird that you hang out so much because you have so much in common. 

The friend who prefers to stay in: this is the friend you need to keep close to you. When you have spent too much money or don’t feel like partying, a girlie night in will always be available with a friend like this in your life. 

The friend you are banging, or would like to be banging: this is a friend that you either have history with, or chemistry with, and you’re either already hooking up, or it’s only a matter of time until you are. Keep this friend around, they’re good for you.

The friend that you kiss when you’re drunk: everyone has one. They are your go to when you have had a drink or need a confidence boost. 

The friend you can do hipster things with: because let’s face it, not a lot of people will go to poetry readings and see French films with you. 

The friend who loves comic books: you met this person at Comiccon and only see them twice a year. 

The friend who is basically family: this person gets invited home for Sunday roasts, and probably texts your mum with the latest gossip. 

The person who tags you in memes: this person is good for one thing, and that’s showing you funny memes that they think you’ll like. 

The friend you see once a year: but when you see each other, it is like no time has passed at all. 

The friend that is always busy: you see this person at birthdays and reunions because they work so much and never sleep.

The friend that mothers you: this person watches over you to make sure you don’t make bad lifestyle choices.

The friend that makes bad lifestyle choices: if you can’t think of who this friend is, chances are it is you. 

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22 things I learned by 22

  • It is okay to want to stay home with a bath and a book on Friday nights.
  • It is okay to call the guy first, take control.
  • It is rather empowering to go to the cinema alone, just you, some popcorn and the big screen. 
  • Buy the goddamn dress you keep staring at, go on, I dare you.
  • Try new things. 
  • Don’t hesitate.
  • It’s okay to say no sometimes.
  • It’s also okay to say yes too.
  • Write your feelings down in a letter to someone who has hurt you, and then burn it.
  • Life is too damn short.
  • It’s okay to not know what you want to do with the rest of your life.
  • Don’t wait around for other people, you could be waiting forever.
  • Change your style as often as you want, keeping up with fashion trends is lame anyway.
  • It’s okay if you don’t care about the Kardashians or who wore it better. 
  • Be a feminist and be fucking proud of that fact. 
  • Explore different cities in your country. The world is beautiful and you need to see it.
  • Eat junk food for christs sake.
  • Watch Disney films all day, who cares if they’re baby-ish. 
  • It’s okay to prefer your mum’s company over your friends sometimes.
  • It is okay to be different.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do the things that you want to do.
  • Work your arse off and you’ll get to where you’re supposed to be. 

Post concert blues 

I saw the Lumineers and they ruined my life..

Do you ever hear a song that means so much to do, and then find out how powerful and meaningful the lyrics actually are? That happened to me last night. 
I went to The Lumineers concert in Hammersmith (a belated birthday present from my favourite person) and they ruined my life. 
The band, made up of: Neyla, Wesley and Jeremiah, are a folk-rock band from Colorado. Their quirky sound and emotive songs create a dynamic and unique sound. 
The group performed their song ‘Charlie Boy’ which I originally heard be played in Reign, but before performing it they gave us a little insight about what it meant. The song stands against war and how the loss of a life can affect somebody. I was crying by the end.
Folk music is such an underrated genre. The only female in the band, Neyla, plays the cello. I find that so incredible, she has such a talent and it was euphoric to watch her perform.
The lead singer, Wesley, has so much charisma and stage presence, it was a miracle I didn’t run up on stage to dust with him. His voice is so raw, I was enticed.
At one moment, the band ditched their microphones, saying they ‘missed the intimacy of a small venue’ and the crowd watched in silence as they sang ‘where the skies are blue’ and I was in awe of how respectful the fans were. 
I had terrific seats, section 4 of the circle, right in the middle of the action. From the moment I sat down, I knew how different this gig would be to any that I was used to. I was surrounded by Americans, who clearly didn’t know the British etiquette: don’t show emotion, don’t stand up, and don’t get drunk. My friend and I thought it was funny.
I can’t express how important live music is. If you have a favourite singer/band, go and see them live. It is such a euphoric feeling. The intimacy and insight you get from watching your favourite artist is incredible, and you learn so much about their process and life. So incredible. And you find yourself lost in a crowd of people who feel exactly the same things as you. 

Meninists: I have something to say

Dear ‘meninists’,

Let me tell you why I am a feminist. 

I’m a feminist because…
– Because I felt so guilty and ashamed for an entire year because I was taken advantage of at a party on my first day of university. Because I was forced to do things with somebody I didn’t even know, because society tells me that it’s ‘okay’ for him to break the law for ’20 minutes of action.’

– Because when I spoke to on campus security about what happened to me, the first thing they asked me was ‘what were you wearing?’ 

– Because I feel an ever growing wave of anxiety when I’m walking the streets at night and a strange man has no sense of personal boundaries.

– Because I was followed home in broad daylight and sexually harassed and no one did anything to help me.

– Because when returning home from work on the train I was sexually harassed by an old man, and when he went to cop a feel I shot him down, which is when he started to verbally abuse me. Again, nobody thought to stand up for me. 

– Because I decided to take kickboxing classes so that I would know what to do if I was ever attacked. 

– Because if I don’t have sex, I’m a prude, and if I do have sex, I’m a slut.

– Because if I show my body off I’m too revealing and a bad role model but if a male reveals his body he is ‘sexy’.

– Because plus sized models aren’t a common thing, and they should be. 

– Because they shouldn’t be considered ‘plus size’ because they don’t fit society’s ‘size zero’ campaign. 

– Because when I came out as bisexual, most people accused me of attention seeking, or going through a phase. 

– Because members of the LGBT community are still being victimised and oppressed. They’re still being hated and attacked and murdered even though we can’t help who we love.

– Because if I put my career ahead of my love life, I’m ‘ruining my chances of finding a date’.

– Because journalism has completely gone downhill, and only reports on gossip now. 

– Because cultural appropriation exists, and it shouldn’t.

– Because white washing exists, and it shouldn’t.

– Because men get raped too, and it is ‘shameful’ for them to ‘not enjoy it’ and therefore they feel that they cannot speak out.

– Because America wants to remove the Native American burial grounds to put in a pipe line, and someone got shot by a policeman at a peaceful protest to defend the lands. 

– Because American cops are killing unarmed black people first, and asking questions later.

– Because Sandra Bland was killed inside her prison cell, and it was covered up and made to look like a suicide.

– Because black actors and actresses aren’t getting the recognition they should for doing the exact same role as a white person, and probably even doing a better job.

– Because the directors and producers who cast non-disabled actors to play disabled characters (me before you, the fundamentals of caring) are still creating messes and not bothering to clean them up.

– Because the US presidential candidates were an accused rapist and an ex-attorney who defended people who rape. 

– Because even though Hillary Clinton got more votes, Donald Trump still takes the presidency because of a messed up voting system.

– Because America would rather have a president who ‘grabs women by the pussy’ than an actual woman. 

– I’m a feminist because I have common sense.

Being a feminist is not about hating men. It’s about being oppressed for thousands of years and fighting for the rights that men took away from us in the first place. 

So please, tell me how my feminism is about hating all men? 

The types of guy you date in your 20s

The gym addict: 
This is the guy who will encourage you to sign up for a gym membership, and because he is cute and available you do it. You get to watch him lift weights, you get into shape too, then you will get post-gym smoothies and maybe make out in his car between workouts. 

The hipster guy:
This guy will keep you on your toes because he is so distant and aloof. He will take you to poetry readings and the cat cafe, where you’ll talk about being SO creative, politics and music. You might get bored or scared discussing these issues.

The grunge guy:
This is the guy who will take you to see live music, probably a soft-rock-indie band that you have no desire to see, but you go anyway because he’s cute and you like watching people perform.

The ultimate fuckboy:
STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOY AT ALL COSTS. HE ONLY WANTS TO SLEEP WITH YOU AND THEN LEAVE YOU, OR WORSE, HE’LL FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU AND SEND YOU DICK PICS OVER SNAPCHAT.

The nice guy:
This is the guy you date when you’re tired of the other guys. Quite frankly, this is a mistake because the nice guy is too tame and you have no chemistry, so where is your sense of adventure?

The fake nice guy:
This is the guy who pretends to be really nice, he will win over your friends and even some of your family. He’ll treat you with respect and compassion and you will find yourself really falling for this guy, only for it to be revealed three months later that he already has a girlfriend , and you end up kicked to the curb like a rubbish bag.

The friend of a friend:
You date this person because your friends are tired of watching you chase the wrong guys. You feel obliged to stick the relationship out for a short period of time, even though your heart isn’t 100% in it.

The hopeless stoner:
This guy will invite you over to his house to smoke weed and play video games. The trouble is, he will lose his motivation and you will get bored.

The emotionally unavailable guy:
This guy has a fear of commitment, and you will keep your guard up. Let’s face it, these types of relationships are NOT healthy. 

The life of the party:
This is the guy that everyone knows/wants to know. He has already hooked up with most of the girls in his friendship group and now he’s landed on you. He will introduce you to his friends, but the girls will immediately hate you. But he is sociable, charming and fun so you’ll fall for him anyway.

The guy who’s great in bed but not good for much else:
This is the guy you can use for sex. He’ll use you too, and you’ll only see him between 1 and 3am. He has no personality so who cares anyway right?

The guy you can’t tell anyone about:
This guy is so vile and awful that you can never admit to anyone that you’re seeing him. Everyone you know hates him, but for some reason that only makes you want him more.

The guy you can bring home to meet your family:
Hopefully this guy will be the last that you date, or the one that you date forever.

The best poetry I’ve ever read 

A litany for survival- Audre Lorde

Cordon Negro- Essex Hemphill 
Where do you enter- Nikki Giovanni

Lineage- Margaret walker

The night rains hot tar- lance jeffers

Bullet points- Jericho brown

A small needful fact- Ross gay

Black lady Lazarus- diamond sharp 

Bird on the wire- Leonard Cohen

If it is the summer of 2009- Hanif Abdurraqib

Praise song- Nate Marshall 

What they did yesterday afternoon- warsan shire

Self portrait in case of disappointment- safia elhillo

Elegy- aracelis girmay

Gravity- angel nafis

Let me handle my business, damn- Morgan Parker

Summer, somewhere- danez smith

I, too- Langston Hughes 

Half caste- John agard 

Having a coke with you- Frank O’hara

Dance me to the end of love- Leonard Cohen

Phenomenal woman- maya angelou

Where the sidewalk ends- Shel Silverstein

If you forget me- Pablo Neruda

I carry your heart with me- EE Cummings

The road not taken- Robert Frost

A dream within a dream- Edgar Allen Poe

There is another sky- Emily Dickenson 

Life is fine- Langston Hughes 

A girl- Ezra Pound

Messy room- Shel Silverstein 

To my wife- oscar Wilde

Still I rise- Maya Angelou

Let America be America again- Langston Hughes

To you- Walt Whitman

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening- Robert frost 

Metaphors- Sylvia Plath 

I wandered lonely as a cloud- William Wordsworth 

Funeral blues- WH Auden 

Touched by an angel- maya angelou 

The raven- Edgar Allen Poe 

Do not go gentle into that good night- Dylan Thomas 

A word to husbands- Ogden Nash 

A life- Sylvia Plath

I’m not yours- Sara Teasdale

All the worlds a stage- William Shakespeare

A poison tree- William Blake

Daddy- Sylvia Plath 

A red, red rose- Robert burns 

I know why the caged bird sings- maya angelou

Happiness- Raymond carver

Alone- Edgar Allen Poe 

The road not taken- Robert frost 

Cold dark corner- Blake Duffy 

Lady Lazarus- Sylvia Plath 

I don’t like labels, but this one is fine

Usually, I really hate labelling myself. To feel like you’re stuck in one category is very limiting, like I’m more than just ‘a nerd’ or whatever.

But there’s one label that I do enjoy. I enjoy being Bisexual. I enjoy being categorised like that, it makes the stigma easier to deal with if I know what I am and what I’ll have to deal with.

I first realised I liked girls in a non friendly way when I was 10, because I had my very first kiss with a girl in my Year 5 class. We used to play Mum’s and Dad’s and I would always get stuck playing the dad. One day, this girl and I were playing together in my room and I asked her ‘do your mum and dad kiss?’ And she said ‘yes sometimes, do yours?’ To which I replied ‘yeah sometimes’ – there was a brief pause in the conversation which is when I suggested that our game needed to feel more realistic so we added kissing into it.  And I’m not talking about just a peck on the lips.

I used to think I hated this girl, now I can reflect and I realise I wanted to be more than friends with her. She used to think that it was just in the game.

Flash forward to when I’m 17, and at sixth form. There was a girl in the year above who I had a crush on, and one day we hung out at lunchtime in a nearby park. We sat on the swing sets and gossiped and laughed and got really close. One day the two of us are at the same party one evening and in a drunken stupor she kissed me. I was blown away, because I didn’t realise that girl crushes could be retaliated. I’d never experienced that with a girl before. I’d never been knowingly desired by a girl who I desired back. But by the next day, the dream was over. The girl had told me that she was ‘way too drunk’ and that it was just practise for the real thing, which, in her eyes, was with a guy.

Even though it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, I owe this girl a lot. Yeah I was hurt, but, I realised who I was. 

For 3 years after that, I ignored labels and did as I pleased, but I generally dated guys because it was easier. And I still find it easier to date guys, but, that doesn’t make me any less of a bisexual. 

It wasn’t until last year that I fully admitted it to myself. ‘Josie, you like guys, AND you like girls. And that’s ok.’ So I started to tell people. I confided in my housemates, my best friends, other gay people I knew. I downloaded Tinder and changed my preferences to ‘men and women.’ I updated my Facebook information that said which gender I am interested in. I did slight, subtle things like that, instead of openly admitting it, because I was terrified.

The news has slowly made its way around my family, and I don’t really know how they feel about it. It doesn’t change me. It doesn’t change who I am. It’s just a label. 

I mostly think my family think it is ‘just a phase’ but since officially coming out this year, I have tried to make it clear that although I dated a boy this summer, there is a chance that I could have a wife one day. 

I wouldn’t say I’m 50/50. I don’t know if there are statistics on things like this. I know that I’m happiest now that I’ve accepted the label, and hope that the people I love can see that, and accept it too. 

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask. I’m dying to be more interactive with my followers and for my friends and family members who read this to understand me better, to not just think that I’m going through a phase or attention seeking or whatever. That’s not what this is.