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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

A ramble on goals, capitalism, a new decade, heteronormativity, and turning 30...the fun stuff.




In case you haven't heard, it's a new decade and it's time for a new start. What have you achieved in the past decade? What will you achieve in the next decade you underperforming failure of a human?!>!!

Meh. 

My little space on the internet was born as part of a New Year's resolution in 2011, and in a few days, my blog will celebrate its ninth birthday. If my blog was a person it would be halfway through primary school. 

Those of you who have been with me since the start of mo'adore will know that my attitude towards goals and resolutions has changed wildly. I used to be very goal orientated. I was a preachy goal-maker who would look down her nose at people who had no drive. These days, I still work hard and shit but I've shredded the internalised belief that a higher level of productivity automatically makes someone a more worthwhile human being.  

There's nothing wrong with having goals, as long as you aren't doing them out of societal obligation. I still like to sit down at the turn of every new year and stake stock of where I am, decide if I am happy with where I am, and what to do about the bits that aren't too peachy. 

That tradition has never changed. These days though, I like to check in with myself about why I want to achieve each thing, as well as focusing on working on myself to be a better human rather than a mo productive part of the capitalist machine.

--

At the start of 2019, several of my plans were a bit dull if I'm being honest. I decided I wanted to become more domesticated in 2019. This I achieved. I'm now a full-blown Zoflora wanker who irons her bedsheets. I even bought a plant that I've managed not to kill. 

I liked achieving this goal because it's nice to come home to a clean house after a day at work. It's good for the soul (and my nostrils). I also cooked a lot of food in 2019, and have several new recipes that I can turn to for particular situations. That's nice too. Though I totally did mutilate my attempt at steamed buns. 

I also said that I would continue to save money so that I could buy my own flat. I haven't bought my own flat yet and my savings are still about the same. This is something I've had to learn to be okay with. I could buy right now if I wanted to, as my savings are high enough. But I got very lucky with my rented flat and I'd have to massively downgrade (and move further out of the city) if I bought now. While there are pros to buying now, ultimately I think I'd be less happy if I bought now - even if I would receive some congratulations cards in the post. Originally I had a plan to buy before I'm 30 and unless I happen to win the lottery before November, I'm unlikely to achieve that. But recently I've had to ask myself why I set myself the goal of buying by 30. There's no logical reason as to why I need a mortgage by this age. I just randomly came up with it, due to societal pressure.

(Side note: it drives me nuts on Tinder when people brag about being homeowners on their profiles - don't get me wrong it is nice to own and I certainly wouldn't complain if someone I was dating had a nice pad, but it makes you sound like a snobby Tory)

Style-wise I wanted to upgrade myself. I haven't done this, largely because of money. I don't have any new tattoos and piercings. The one major change in my appearance is that I became a specky - and splashed out on a pair of Michael Kors glasses that look really nice on my face.

I also gave up drinking (aside from special occasions) which wasn't a goal I decided on at the start of the year, but something I decided on in September. I woke up after a friend's birthday feeling pretty shit and unable to do anything that day. I had a bit of a realisation that I hadn't been able to do much of what I really wanted to recently because I had been on one too many nights out and had lost several days to hangovers. My reasons for giving up drinking centred around productivity and being mindful of where my time went, but I've still had to deal with ignorant a******* who can't just let me live. 

I did achieve something quite big but I wanted to recap on these boring goals for a bit. None of the above goals are particularly brag-worthy and the house-cleaning one did get me a few eye-rolls. No one is congratulating me on developing a cleaning schedule that works for me (though I'd appreciate it if they did).  

That's the thing about goals though: they should concentrate on things that make you happy. Having a cleaner house has improved my emotional wellbeing. Even if it doesn't found as fancy as "completed a PhD" or "had a baby". 

I would say over the course of the past year I didn't really achieve that much. There is one stand out achievement that did earn me congratulations on Twitter (I'll get to it) but I wouldn't say it *means more* to me that getting on top of my chores. 

Okay, so my stand-out achievement that made my parents squee in delight? I was elected onto the Glasgow Green Party Committee as an Ordinary Member. This is something that I am obviously delighted about, and I am proud of myself for putting myself forward (which was a bit scary because it involved standing on a stage and selling myself to a room full of people). I am not in any way shape or form downplaying this achievement, but what I am saying is that it's not necessarily more important to me just because it looks a bit better on social media than my other achievements (like learning how to make vegan meringues from chickpeas). 

Honestly, if I was to wrap up my 2019: it would be the year of rejection and things not working out. In my 2019 goals post, I mentioned that I wanted to get the wheels in motion for a career change. I applied for a Masters and didn't get in, which obviously blew (especially since two of my friends did get onto their chosen masters). 

I also said that I wanted to take dating more seriously, which I did and I'm still partnerless. When I wrote my 2019 blog post I actually had a crush on someone I knew in real life. In the spring I decided to shoot my shot and....it didn't work (though we are still friends which I am very grateful for *woo maturity points*). I gave love a chance on a few other occasions this year, more than any other year. While it didn't work out for me with any of these people, I can safely say that it was never meant to be. I also paid for Tinder Pro and can see when people I know in life have swiped right on me (lol). 

Oh, and I went on a dating show! Which is a very bizarre sentence that I didn't exactly imagine myself writing at the start of the year. It's still in the editing phase and should be out on iPlayer in spring. It's called Hot Property and the picker (who was not me) picks a date based on their bedrooms. So you'll all get to see what my bedsheets look like. Maybe my vibrator too. 

I did say that I wanted to be more vulnerable in 2019, and appearing on a dating show where the person rummages through your drawers is high-stakes vulnerable. Yay for vulnerability and not being scared of what people might say about you on national TV! I'm still tempted to have a close friend watch the show for me and make the call on whether watching it myself would be good for my emotional health. 

The thing is: I put myself out there more this year than in previous years, which meant that I faced more rejection than in previous years. I think I'm okay with this...as it means I know certain things weren't for me and I won't wonder if things were meant to be? Something like that. I'm still working on being okay with my failed attempt at uni and love.

-- 

But when we talk about 2020 goals, we're not just talking about the upcoming year. No! We're talking about the decade. And as a 1990 baby, it will be a new decade for me personally. I find decade goals weird because who knows what the fuck I'm going to want in five years time. I might decide to uproot and move to France (unlikely). Or I might decide to become an engineer (also unlikely). Or global warming will finally catch us and we'll all be dead (likely). 

The only thing I do know that I want to achieve in the next decade is a career change. I never planned to end up in marketing; it sort of just happened because when you leave school you pick something and get on with it. I don't hate it, but I've always had a niggling suspicion that it's not the thing I was meant to do. In the past year, I've identified something that seems a lot more "me" but it's an industry that can be very difficult to succeed in and there are not a lot of positions available in Scotland (though remote working is possible). I applied for university and didn't get in, but I've been working on a plan to boost my chances of getting in next year.



I shared the above image on my Facebook in August. It spoke to me because of the career aspect. I graduated at 21 with a degree I was always a bit iffy about, tried to make it work, but as I approach 30 I have decided that I really need to have a re-think. But I was conscious of people thinking I might have been trying to gather sympathy for my long-term single status. 

If you've been around since the start of mo'adore, you'll know that I've been single the whole time. There are a handful of personal reasons for this: including being in the closet, having emotional issues in my early 20s that I had to work through first, and (the main one) I just never met someone. I am okay with this, but it feels weird to say it out in loud (in public) that if I don't mean someone by October then I will have been officially single for a decade. 

One of my favourite books of this year was The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catherin Gray. Like me, she is a long-term single and had a lot of baggage she needed to address before meeting someone. One of the most poignant parts of the book was where she explained that most of us could be married by now if we really wanted to be. I could have stayed with my first boyfriend even though he made me angry on a weekly basis, or I could have agreed to be the girlfriend of the multiple men who have tried to convince me. But I walked away from every offer because it would have been the wrong choice. If I had stayed, sure, I'd be married but I'd probably also be miserable. 

Just like owning a house, I could do it if I really wanted to because it would make me look more put together on social media, but it would actually be the wrong choice in terms of my personal happiness. 

--

Just before I turned 20 (in 2010) I went through both a romantic and platonic break-up (both on very bad terms), wasn't eating very well, was very skinny (some people complimented me on on this!), still pretending that cheerleading was a thing I was into, awkward as fuck and was wanting to leave university. I was fucking miserable. But it was this misery that led me to finally starting the slow journey of finding happiness. 

Finding that happiness wasn't a linear process. It was made up of lots of little projects and lifestyle changes. Going vegetarian, finding my own personal style, ditching shit friends, finding better friends, moving to Glasgow, and - of course - coming out as bisexual. All these things lifted me to a higher level of life satisfaction that passing my driving test first time never did (I also never drove again).

When people on Twitter were talking about what they achieved in the past decade, it was usually getting published in a newspaper, finishing their degree, getting married, having a baby, or buying their first house. While these are great things to have achieved (if these things are right for you), they are very capitalist and heteronormative goals. They are not right for everyone and no one should feel bad for not having achieved those things.

I have people in my life who struggle with health problems, some of who are legally recognised as disabled. They haven't achieved a lot of the things above as they have to battle their own mind and body on a daily basis, let alone finish a degree or hold down a job. As much as I am proud of the people in my life who have received pay rises or bought a house this year, I will always be more proud of my loved ones whose biggest success this year was just staying alive, holding down a job, or attending all their therapy appointments.

My proudest achievement in the past decade? If you've read everything I've written in the past two years you'll already know: it was coming out as bisexual. In an ideal world, learning to love myself would have never been my proudest achievement because I should have never been to feel like I had to the fact that I can fall in love with women. 

I'm closing the decade as a happy human, who is largely content with her life, who has grown to love herself and accept that she likes girls (along with boys and non-binary people). 

My goals for the next decade, and my thirties when November hits, is to continue pursuing happiness and striving towards things that feel right in my gut. Not goals that society places on me.

Isn't that what we should all be aiming towards? 
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“I’m sorry, I’m at full capacity right now”...let’s chat boundaries in a friendship




If, like me, you love a bit of the good old Twitter you’ve probably noticed a screenshot floating around of a message exchange between two friends, asking if they had the emotional capacity for a vent. Innocent enough to be honest. This tweet, however, has caused a massive onslaught of divided opinion on whether friends should be available 24/7 for a vent or if we should be more considerate about what else could be going on in other people’s lives.

The tweet originated from US-based activist and writer, Melissa A Fabello. I’ve been a massive fan of Melissa’s work for many years, so much so that I support her on Patreon and have recently signed-up (and paid) for her Writing Course. I still remember stumbling across her old YouTube videos five years ago and falling down a massive rabbit hole. In fact, a lot of her online content has helped me become the person I am - so if you’re a fan of who I am, then you’ve got to give some credit to Melissa.

To see her ripped apart across the internet has felt weird as someone who credits her work as a major influence in my life. I do not know Melissa personally and can’t give a real-world account of what she is like to be around, but I can certainly say that her work has changed me for the better. Personal feelings aside, I’m going to give my fair and balanced opinion on the meme itself, setting boundaries in relationships (both romantic and platonic) and respecting people’s mental capacity to provide emotional support.

Melissa has spoken before about asking permission from people before dropping heavy shit on them (and understanding the difference between a friend and a therapist) so to me, this tweet didn’t seem particularly out of place. It’s a little formal and dry, yes, but the point is made, and if it’s an exchange between two friends they will likely customise it.

For just under a year, I have been making a conscious effort to ask someone “hey is it okay if I rant about my body image issues/a bad date/work to you right”. I understand that people have bad days, might be in the middle of a family gathering, or might be having a mental health flair up. Sometimes things happen where people can’t be there for you emotionally, just like people can’t always show up physically for you.

I do have friends with more emotional energy to give than others. That doesn’t mean that the friends with lower levels of emotional energy are worse friends than those who have a high tolerance. I personally do have a high tolerance for emotional stuff, and it’s very rare that I feel overwhelmed by emotional topics. Saying that though, I do get under the weather sometimes and just last weekend I did find myself having one of those days where I just lay in bed and aimlessly scrolled Facebook because I hadn’t had the best week.

Despite having a high threshold for emotionally-driven conversations, my threshold for in-person chat is very low. I am very introverted and can feel socially drained extremely easily (if you know me in real life you have probably noticed that my Tweets are much more invigorating than the awkward murmurs that come out of my mouth in person). This does mean that I might not be the most socially-available friend, even if I am quite quick at responding on Messenger. I would never, however, use this as an excuse to miss an important event such as a friend’s wedding or birthday party. I’d always suck those up. But as anyone who knows me quite well cab attest to, being around people too much can bring out the cranky side of me and it’s best for the health of my relationships that I’m given physical and social space when needed.


The importance of a support network

One thing that has really helped me manage my own emotions over the years and be there for other people, has been building a support network of people rather than expecting one or two people to fulfil every social and emotional need I have. Growing up we’re usually sold the idea of having a Best Friend who will be glued to our side, and then as we get older we will find a spouse (of a romantic and sexual nature) who will then become our everything.

I threw that idea out the window a long time ago and I am much happier because of it.

Having a support network means that I have different people who can show up for me in different ways. If someone isn’t feeling okay I have other people I can turn to. For example, just last weekend I was in a bit of a state because I received a few emotional hits that week - and different friends showed up for me in different ways. I also tweeted about one of the things that happened and received some Twitter support. Support can show up in numerous ways.

When I go on dates (I know I’m not the best person to dish out relationship advice) something I look out for is “does this person have a lot going on on?” or in other words: will this person expect me to be their everything because, to be frank, they have fuck all else going on? Couples who spend every waking and breathing moment together are welcome to do so - I’m not saying that relationship style is necessarily wrong - but it does confuse me how they...cope. I know from personal experience that having a partner who is constantly there with only the odd break for work commitments brings out a less pleasant side of me.

People are not bad friends or partners if they have boundaries

A lot of responses that Melissa received were telling her that she was a bad friend. I don’t know Melissa personally so cannot comment on what it’s like to be her friend. However, I have been following her online for years and she certainly appears to have a solid group of friends and acquaintances. She also has two romantic partners who come across as high calibre (tell me your dating secrets, Melissa!). I can also say that applying the practical advice from her educational content on forming healthy friendships has improved my own friendships for the better...so I’m inclined to say that she's not an awful friend.

Here’s the thing: if you want a relationship of any kind (platonic, romantic or familial) to survive long term then you have to respect the boundaries and limitations of that person. That person is not superhuman, and they have a breaking point. Sometimes you need to check in with them to know where their emotional capacity is currently at.

It’s happened a few times where I’ve been so close to my social capacity that I need alone time for the sake of my own emotional wellbeing (and the emotional wellbeing of the people around me). I’m a fairly mild-mannered person who doesn’t have a quick temper, but anyone who has decided to ignore my requests for privacy and alone time will know what it’s like to be on the wrong side of me. I’m not kidding: when someone pushes past my social boundaries - especially when I’ve explicitly stated them and we’re not in a social situation that I need to suck up e.g. an emergency or a family wedding - it will not be greeted well and, yes, I have been known to split open emotionally and let the irritation and anger spill out.

This breaking point could have been easily avoided if the person in question had just, you know, respected my (very basic) social boundaries. Healthy relationships with minimal arguments need an element of boundaries to stay healthy. 


You’re not entitled to anyone

The conversation around feeling entitled to a romantic and sexual partner has increased over the past year or so - and that’s great! Though we’re not seeing much chat surrounding feeling entitled to a platonic partner.

Bottom line: you’re not entitled to anyone's time. Being in a relationship with someone (platonic, romantic, sexual, business or whatever) doesn’t entitle you to potentially push them towards their breaking point (which could be the reality of springing heavy chat on someone without warning, or showing up uninvited). Unless you’re a newborn baby who literally needs the adults to do everything for you, then ask permission now and then.

We, as a society, have a problem with the word no. I love the word no now but it took me years to learn to use it and to respect it when it came out of other people’s mouths. I might be all BOUNDARIES now but I also had to work on respecting boundaries over the years and meeting people in the middle. People have the right to say no to things. Including those closest to you.

Though you do need to suck it up sometimes

I never use my introverted personality to get out of social situations that are important to my closest people. Of course, I will always attend family weddings and birthdays unless there’s a very good reason to miss it (and by important, I mean an emergency, pre-booked holiday or health-related issue). But I will say no to non-important things. For example, I skipped my work’s company-wide Christmas party because, truthfully, I just didn’t fancy it. This did get a few negative reactions but I’m entitled to spend my time the way I wish and it’s not an important event that is important to someone I love.

While people are entitled to spend their time how they like, people are also allowed to decide how available they need their friends to be in order for them to feel loved. There is no right or wrong here. Personally, despite my introverted energy, I still think friendships need to have regular mate dates to last. Friendships where someone is having health or monetary problems, someone has children or care responsibilities and/or there’s a geographical difference are the exception. However, in a friendship where none of these issues apply I would expect there to be regular mate-dates.

That’s not to say every friendship needs regular mate dates or that I have some stringent Google Calendar where everyone has a regular appointment slot. Some people are happy to have digital friendships with people they rarely see (again: I do have friendships like this but it’s where there is a boundary that prevents us hanging out in real life).

As I mentioned earlier, I get second-hand stress from couples who are glued together. That’s not to say however that those relationships are wrong. For some people, a very present partner might be important. For me, it’s important that a romantic partner has a life outside the relationship.

I don’t see romantic relationships are exceptionally more important than a platonic relationship. Imagine dating someone who only communicated with your digitally and never made the effort to take you on a date? Every guide on the internet would be telling you to leave. I’m not entirely sure why friendships are different (unless of course, there’s a boundary in the way). I have a friendship where we have so much in common that we regularly see each other more than once a week, and I’ve been asked a few times if she’s my girlfriend! I think that’s a little sad that people jump to the idea that we’re a romantic couple for no other reason than we spend a lot of time in each other’s company!

But anxiety

There has been one argument against the original tweet that I think does have some weight. And that’s the argument that people with anxiety (or even just anxious personalities) might panic when they receive a message that warns them of potentially triggering content and their minds might begin racing in a thousand different directions.

Here’s my advice: talk to your friends about the way in which they like to be communicated with. You might have some friends who would prefer you straight up dish out your problem immediately with no warning, while others might prefer a warning (I prefer a warning). No one is right or wrong here; different people just have different ways in which they like to be communicated with. I, for one, am not particularly comfortable with phone calls unless it is 1) scheduled and 2) with someone I am close to. I also don’t answer phone numbers that I don’t recognise.

(On a serious note - content warning for creepy and stalker behaviour - I don’t answer my door if I’m not expecting anyone because of some creepy behaviour in my past from people who know where I live)

I also have some friends that I’m more huggy with than others. Some friends attend concerts with me while others can’t think of anywhere else. It’s called boundaries and it’s worth having a chat with your closest people about where their boundaries on certain situations and communication channels lie. And, tbh, if you’re having to drag people to events that aren’t up their street...maybe you and your friends don’t really have all that much in common.

Some people are just not well-suited to each other

It took me until my mid-twenties to really understand this, but ...sometimes it’s not that people are shit friends, selfish, or cranky bastards with no love to give….it’s that maybe...you’re just not well-suited.

There’s nothing wrong with a low-key life, but I’ve learned over the years that I struggle with building long-term relationships with people like that because I keep a busy schedule and we just don’t understand each other. I also don’t gel very well with people who are extremely loud; but being loud isn’t a character flaw, it’s just not what I naturally feel at home with. The same way that some people won’t like my quiet energy and think that I “lock myself away”. I do have to meet people in the middle on “how often should we spend time together” question but then other times friendships fall through we’re just too incompatible. We all have different needs and sometimes two people aren’t built in a compatible way. That’s okay


Different people have different needs


Some of us need trigger warnings. Some of us don’t. Some of us like relationships where we are glued together. Some people like their space. No one is right or wrong.

That goes for the now infamous tweet. Was that person wrong to ask if someone had the emotionally capacity for a vent? No, they weren’t. But is it for everyone? Also, no.

Have a chat with your friends and find out where their boundaries are. Believe me, your friendships will be better when you learn to love people in the way that need to be loved. 
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The UK is now a Tory heartland - where do we go from here?





I don’t think I need to tell you why I spent an hour this morning crying like a fucking baby.

It wasn’t even just the fact that a party whose austerity measures have killed 120,000 people according to Medical Journals managed to win (in a First Past the Post system) by a landslide. It’s also that I don’t really…understand. I can’t articulate what happened. I’m an over-thinker and if I don’t have an answer to something, I’ll find one. My brain usually creates one, but my brain isn’t getting any further than “some people really do like the idea of Brexit, aye?” The polls said the Tories would probably win it, but that a hung parliament was likely. Boris is a racist, a homophobe, and a snob who wouldn’t even agree to TV interviews (I might not agree with the other Tory MPs but at least they’ve never hidden in a fridge).

If you’re here for a hot take on what went wrong, I don’t have one. My brain is fried from all of this (and I was up all night at the Glasgow count). My only conclusion is that we (including myself) underestimated just how many people wanted Brexit (given that the Conservatives made gains in places with a high Leave vote). What I am going to talk about is what we do moving forward.

But, hey, at least Jo Swinson lost her seat (but I was in the fucking toilet when it happened!).

If you have a political party that you truly believe in, join them

I’ve been a member of the Scottish Green Party for over 5 years. Not only that, but I was elected onto the Glasgow Greens Committee as an Ordinary Member a few months ago. If you join a political party, you don’t need to be as involved as I am. Plenty of members just donate their yearly fee to help with the finances. If you do want to get involved though, there are plenty of ways to do so as political parties and their local branches need a variety of skills sets. This includes marketers, data analysts, election organisers, candidates (!!), secretaries, event organisers, treasurers and confident extrovert types to knock on doors!

Or join a campaign or pressure group

They also need people with a variety of skill sets. 

Consider donating time and money

I still 100% believe that you should be talking to your friends and family about their vote. This includes posting on social media. Saying that, unless you are a public figure or influencer with a wide reach, you might only change the minds of a handful of people.

I know not everyone can, but if you’re in a financially comfortable situation please consider donating money to your candidate or party of choice in the next election - in order to help reach a wider audience. If you also have a particular skill set that could be of use during a political campaign, get in touch with your local organiser to find out how you can get involved.

Don’t think Scottish independence is in the bag

I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media today claiming that Scottish independence is now inevitable.
Hold on a second.

The SNP did make big gains last night in terms of the number of seats won – but their share of the vote was 45%. While this is an impressive number, it isn’t high enough to start running around screaming Freedom. 

I support Scottish Independence and in the event of a referendum being called, I will 100% be out campaigning. With a smart campaign, the Yes side may swing it (and remember, we only need to convince the electorate once, Better Together need to keep convincing voters over and over).

I know the thought of Scottish Independence is what’s keeping people going right now. Unfortunately, this could lead to complacency where we think we’re going to fix this mess by leaving. It’s not that simple. Public opinion still looks like it hovers around the 50% mark.

If you want independence, you'll need to restart the campaign. Don't wait for it a new Independence Referendum to be announced either. A lot of Scottish people still need convincing (more on that later!).

Start laying the groundwork for Holyrood 2021

The next election in Scotland will be Holyrood 2021 (but who knows if another General Election will be called, I’ve voted in more elections in the last few years than I’ve had foreign holidays). The political parties are gearing up for this already, with candidates selected and members collecting voting data at counts across the country. 

The Tory vote share in Scotland last night was 25%. Do not kid yourself if you think Scotland doesn’t like Tories, because they came second in both terms of seats and vote share. We have over a year until we decide who is elected at Holyrood (with a form of proportional representation), and if you want it to be a left-leaning government (yes please) then now is the time to start educating people around your on why the left is best (or donating time and/or money).

Use the time between elections to talk about the issues

One problem I did spot during the campaign period was just how much voters aren’t really clued up on the issues. It’s hard to convince people during a snap General Election on why broadband for all is a good idea, why the Greens are the only party who really have a plan for saving the planet, why Universal Credit must go, that there is a lot of economic research that supports socialism, other countries have already proved that equal societies are possible (English voters were saying that free university tuition is far-fetched despite Scotland having had it for years?), why Trident is a waste of money, why the Monarchy has no place in modern society, and that immigration is not the threat to the working class that they’ve been made to believe that it is.

That’s why, between now and Holyrood 2021, we should be raising awareness of issues and educating those around us. Closer to the time we can start campaigning along party lines, but if we want to reduce the number of Tories in Scotland we need to start shifting public opinion towards the left in general.

Understand the root cause

As I said, I don’t really understand what went wrong last night. In order to fix it though, we need to travel into murky waters to find out. What makes a working-class person vote Tory? Why do people want Brexit, when there is no economic justification for it? Why are people ignoring that we only have 10 years before climate change is irreversible?

One of the biggest shifts in my own personal political beliefs was Scottish Independence. I used to be a hard-lined Unionist (and a Liberal Democrat hahaha hahaha oh god) and changed my mind with only two months to go. Shockingly enough, it was not the Twitter Nats shouting off about Unionists being cowards that made me change my mind (imagine that). It was, and this is random, attending a Republic Scotland debate covering what Scottish Independence could mean for the monarchy. I was really taken by what the Green representative said and that night I walked home feeling the shift in me. I joined the Scottish Greens after the referendum and maybe would have never voted Yes had it not been for the alternative Green Yes campaign. 

Granted, I had been questioning my Unionist beliefs in the months leading up to this (with so much discussion going on around me it was hard not to) but this was the moment where I crossed over the line. Later on in the campaign, the straight-up media bias and lies would become apparent (remember when the BBC claimed that Alex Salmond didn’t answer a question but a foreign journalist uploaded a video of his answer in full?) and I was a Yes for good. Nothing was going to convince me otherwise after that.

One of the reasons the Yes campaign was so successful (it might not have won but it did rapidly increase the support for Yes) was that it covered everything. There was the white paper, the tv debates, books, the Green Yes campaign, Radical Independence, English for Yes, and the other offshoots that represented different demographics. Almost no stone was left unturned. It wasn’t enough to convince everyone, but it turned this once staunch Unionist into a Yes voter. 

As someone who knows what's like to switch sides on a massive issue, I can tell you a few things. Don't be a dick to people. Share your opinions in a well-researched manner. Understand why people vote the way they do and then build a campaign around it.

Look after our most vulnerable

I want to pay more tax. I’ll happily take home slightly less money if it means a fully-functioning NHS, that the Masters I’m thinking of doing can be paid for by the state, cheaper (or free!) public transport, a good care home for my parents (I don’t live near them and can’t look after them myself), and a safety net waiting for me if I was to fall ill and couldn’t work (I have savings that I'd ideally use for buying a flat but I'm still hesitant to part with it in case something happens).

I’m making a commitment to donating to charities and food banks. The extra money that I would pay in tax is still going to be directed towards society’s most vulnerable people. My political opinions are firm on the redistribution of wealth (not that I’m wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, I’m just comfortable) and I’m planning to put my money where my mouth is.
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I’m not going to pretend that the result of the General Election last night wasn’t fucking disgraceful. It’s disgusting that a large percentage of the UK population (and that includes Scotland!) wants to see disabled people on the streets or children only eating one cooked meal a day.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but if no one takes action (in a strategic way) then this is very much the future we are looking at. Start having a think about where you can help the cause in your own beautiful way: whether that's through using your expertise in your profession to pen thought-pieces, talking openly about how Tory rule has impacted you, donating money to a campaign you really care about, sharing your skillset with a campaign group or political party, volunteering at a local charity or your community council. 

It's bleak right now, very fucking bleak. But it's been bleaker before and society has - in many ways - made leaps and bounds even in my own lifetime. It's not over yet.  

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morag | mo adore
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