Just a wierd man playing a violin while walking a tightrope. Standard in Glasgow

Radio Show Glasgow Adventure Time

Hey Hey Guys!!

Today has been a good day.

I had my first ever Radio Show, What’s Up With Gem?, on www.radiocaley.com, I got some life changing news and I saw (potentially) the love of my life. Yeah, y’all heard it! I’m making it  more than FBO; I’m taking that s**t to the BLOG!!

Just a wierd man playing a violin while walking a tightrope. Standard in Glasgow

Just a wierd man playing a violin while walking a tightrope. Standard in Glasgow

So today I have a lot to be thankful for. It all started this morning, early (too early for my student brain to get it’s tiny little temperament around, if I’m honest). My doctor gave me the news I’ve waited 106 days to hear. I literally skipped down the corridor from his office with glee that would make McKinley High School proud.

Then I got an email from Scotcampus (shout out, by the way!! Follow them dudes on twitter!!) saying that they would like to meet me for an interview for an internship! At a magazine! A real one, not just one that is online! I was about this excited last time this happened, with Source Magazine pity that one didn’t quite go as planned…

Then I had my first show on Radio Caley! Well wasn’t that something! Honestly, it was great. I’ve been on the radio before but I have never hosted my own show. Now, I have one every Tuesday! On my way to Uni (where the studio is) I passed by a girl busking. But she wasn’t just busking. Oh no, she was busking my first song!! FLEETWOOD MAC, GO YOUR OWN WAY!! This lovely lady was playing it 🙂

Lovely Busking Lady

Lovely Busking Lady

I saw a man playing a violin while on a tightrope… so that was a thing… (see above) Pretty standard practice on Buchannan Street, to be fair…

I bumped into an old friend on my way to the studio (which was lovely) then I got to present my show with one of my best friends as a guest, which was such a relief! He’s far more technically minded than me and fixed all my little (*ahem* potentially disastrous *ahem)* technical hitches without a thought. Which I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to do without him. Because I am so technically challenged it’s legendary. ( The tech guys in uni won’t let me borrow equipment without a tutors’ say… I try, guys, I really do…)

On the show there was a major topic I wanted to discuss. For the past 4 years I’ve been heavily involved in the Mental Health services of Scotland, mainly as a patient, but also as a volunteer. It’s a subject close to my heart because it’s affected not only me, but my family and friends, as an extension. I’ve been going through what my dad describes as “a little blip”, but what my psychiatrist would probably call “the reason he has a job“.

mentalhealth

I’m not sure I’m 100% comfortable revealing exactly what I’ve been going through, but I’ve hinted at it in previous posts. My point is, though, that this is Mental Health Awareness Month an I am a survivor. I’ve been through the worst (twice) and now, look. I survived. I’m back at Uni. I’m (hopefully) going to be interning at a magazine. I’m on the radio. There were only 5 listeners but still! That’s 5 people who I hope have been enlightened a little bit, amused, heartened or even just mildly entertained. If one of those 5 got any kind of enjoyment or education from my heartfelt statistics, then I consider that, job done.

What could have, and with my luck might well have, been a catastrophic black hole of a day, was actually something rather wonderful. I’m cherishing this day because there are so few like it for me. There are so few days when things actually go relatively to plan. So often there is something that plagues me, that s**ts all over everything, no matter how hard I try. I neglect self care because if I don’t love myself, then I can’t be disappointed when I receive no love in return.

Keeping it real

Keeping it real

I don’t seek attention, I seek to attend to others. But now, maybe it’s my turn. Maybe I will get the chance to be happy. So I’m going to work hard to make that happen.

SSDD

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Knowledge of the Problem Does Not Free the Oppressed

Homeless Hero

The old clique says “knowledge is power”. But there are times when knowledge and whatever liberation supposedly comes with it, are not enough to give freedom to your speech.

When someone is suffering it is the base instinct of any morally aware person to want to extend the helping hand of the more fortunate to them. Yet that is precisely the problem; want to.

The action to follow the desire does not always come. It is not always something achievable. There is often something stopping you aiding a person. It may be that you have the tools to improve their situation. Maybe you are the only one who can.

Then that wall comes rushing at you and suddenly you’re stopped; words crumble to dust and silence in your mouth, your tongue becomes nothing more than a pointless lump in an empty cave.

So, for whatever reason, your snaps shut and the right words die. Instead, the thoughts fire through your mind and fill it with electric little snaps, desperate flashes of all the things you wish you could say, but can’t and so must suffer alone.

Sometimes the barrier is created socially.

Maybe you are walking down the street, spot a homeless person and are about to give them a fiver when a companion makes a comment about how hobo’s are in such situations because of something they themselves are responsible for; either how they have no-one to blame but themselves or how their system is corrupt and they are actually faking poverty and being paid a bomb. Such capitalist tales are not uncommon, after all. Corporate fat cats praying on the good will of others by creating a twisted circle in which the genuinely needy miss out on their meagre hand-outs.

The hand in the pocket slips past the loose change and pulls out a luxury item – perhaps a phone – instead.

Guilt crossed with a determination to fit in, enforced by that companions rant will make that phone feel like it weighs a tonne; but your apologetic grimace (if you can even muster it) will not keep that poor person warm at night, not will it fill their empty belly.

And the worst part? That person, while sitting on the coldest, lowest wrung of society with exactly zero to their name, will probably look right back at you and understand. Probably even thank you on your way by, wish you a pleasant day. And you had better go and try to have one, because it can be sure as hell guaranteed that they won’t.

No matter how much you know you deserve their angry screams and hateful diatribe, no matter that the phone in your hand could probably feed them for six months, none of it will come. Because they will know why you stayed quiet.

Columnist for the Independent, Laurie Penny, stated in an article in last Sundays edition that she once gave “a homeless man half a Lucky Strike out of my own mouth”. However, placed in said situation, would she still have been able to execute this desperate level of charity, an act on the overwhelming urge to do something?

That wall of conformity has meshed with the collective responsibility to keep it that way and a cowardice to change that attitude has spawned.

Our only hope is that somewhere along the line we can collect enough common sense, or even the common decency that we share between us, and liberate the knowledge of what is the human thing to do, to act in the instincts of kindness that we all feel to some extent, from the restrictions that are sadly crushing the community of our society.