The Unmarked Road

Life On The Other Side Of Mental Illness

Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 9)

White Privilege And The EU Referendum

Yesterday one of the most historic events of our lives took place. The UK left the EU. The referendum’s fall out has torn a once multicultural united country in two.

White privileged britons were being called racist, morons, xenophobic. It’s horrible to watch unfold as friends and families are being torn apart. But to be honest my sympathies are reserved for those minority Britons who have had vitriol, xenophobia and racial slurs aimed at them on a near weekly basis.

Non-white British citizens being chased down the street told they would be chucked out after the referendum (because apparently we were voting to leave the world), EU national friends being told that if they don’t like it, then go home. I’ve been told (as a German) that ‘I’m alright, we don’t mean you’. I even know someone who was told to vote leave at the polling station because her baby would otherwise be a victim of muslim rape.

These aren’t things happening somewhere else. They are happening here, to people I know and love! To me!

So I feel little sympathy for those who have had just one day of hate thrown at them. Maybe you got a taste of what it’s been like for minorities for quite a long time now. Minorities, who woke up yesterday to find that the people who had thrown hate at them for so long were validated in that hate.

It’s time to get realistic and realise how fortunate you are to have been born white.

As someone who’s travelled the World and lived in many different parts of it, I have realised how lucky I am to have been born a white European. People complaining about being called racist seem to live largely in predominantly white towns and don’t realise the true extent of what some people go through. That isn’t meant to be an insult, just a fact that those people genuinely don’t understand the power of white privilege.

I don’t condone any kind of discrimination and hate generalisations. The undertones of the leave campaign, however, were full of xenophobic motivation. That too is a fact. MOST people I, my friends and family spoke to, gave reasons of immigration as their main reason to vote out.

I have seen racist comments from family and friends nearly every day that have made me want to cry and made me feel unwelcome in a country I’ve called home for 24 years.

I am truly sorry to those who actually had valid arguments for leaving, that you have been tarred with the racist brush. I actually enjoyed reading the more intelligently put reasons for a vote to leave and have always said that there are good reasons on both sides.

But you won. You get to keep leaving the house without anyone taking aim at you simply for the colour of your skin or the accent of your language.

Do you know how scary it is to wake up to a country where the majority of people no longer accept that this is your home because you’re an immigrant? How scared people with mixed-race children must be right now? That the constant barrage of ‘Get Out’ is still being spouted at us, now even more loudly because all those actual racists feel validated in their beliefs?

You had one day of hate thrown at you and I’m sorry, that isn’t ok either. But be grateful it was just one day.

Back To ‘Reality’

So my dear Mr J took last week off work as a last little holiday for us before the little bundle of joy/terror arrives! It’s been so wonderful having some quality time just the two of us. We didn’t plan much, meals out, days in the sun, organising baby things, bit of shopping etc.

I have been incredibly fortunate to have married my best friend. It probably helped that we were friends for a while before we got together thereby establishing a genuine connection based on mutual values, likes/dislikes and core beliefs; something that can be bypassed when sexual attraction and infatuation takes priority. That’s not to say I could have married someone I wasn’t attracted to or wasn’t sexually compatible with! Just that in our relationship, friendship has always been our glue and it was through getting to know each other in a platonic way, that my admiration, respect and love grew from a much deeper place, catching us both completely off guard!

As clichéd as it sounds, I honestly never really knew what love was before I met Mr J and I look back at old boyfriends and realise that infatuation and loving the idea of love was what drove those unions. But genuine, lasting love is actually…well it’s quite boring! There’s no drama, no ‘reaching’ for love constantly. No waiting for the day that things will be way you imagine. It’s the everyday with an injection of a lot of fun and some frolics 😉

My decision to marry was based on the knowledge that our foundation wasn’t built on something as fragile as his job/wealth (that he could lose) or sex and good looks (which can be lost through age, illness or physical trauma). It feels like nothing else; like a true soul mate and life partner. Your forever team-mate.

Through the pregnancy we have not been able to have sex from about my 22nd week. I wasn’t worried it would affect our relationship because we are open and honest and quite simply, I married someone who puts my wellbeing over something like this. We haven’t lost the intimacy, in fact if anything we’re more nauseatingly lovey-dovey than before (sorry to those who know us!) Don’t get me wrong, we miss it but there has been no detriment to our overall feelings for one another.

Pregnancy is difficult for both partners involved and it only ever highlights existing issues. It’s a risky test for any couple, and, as I have found out through my babycentre forum, one that many don’t get through still being together at the other end.

I’ve only been married for 11 months so am well aware we’re still in our honeymoon stage. I won’t pretend I know the answer to a lasting marriage or that I know everything about making it through the trials and tribulations of every day life together over the next 50 or so years.

But I think friendship is a pretty good start.

Anyway this wasn’t supposed to be a post dedicated to my marriage! Funny how things can just take on a life of their own.

Swimming after a week off was hard but also wonderful. I’m starting to feel like very laboured with the extra weight and the feelings of weightlessness in the water is glorious!

Other than that, I have no more news. Probably because over the past few weeks I have been in some sort of weird hormonal pregnancy high.

Or is this just what deliriously happy feels like?

NCT Antenatal – First Class

Last night we went to our first NCT antenatal class. We literally had no idea what to expect and I have to say I was a little anxious about meeting loads of new people. But mainly I was excited as meeting new expectant parents was one of the main reasons we joined up!

While my natural curiosity and research nerdiness meant there was a very real chance of me doing a Monica and answering ALL the questions that our teacher would be asking, and even trying to take over the class, I genuinely felt there was information that really benefited us as first time parents. It was also nice to do something with Mr J and to have him more involved in pregnancy related matters. It was rather fun to watch the men try and figure out where the placenta was on the drawing of a pregnant women and have them bond over general new-dad syndrome.

And I soon got over the embarrassment of my husband shouting and pointing out that he knew which part the ‘breasts’ were, to which I responded;

“Very good dear, because if you didn’t, I can guarantee you we wouldn’t be in this situation now!”

Swimming, Easter Hols and Pizza!

So today is the first day in two weeks I’m alone again. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend have been home for the Easter holidays and it’s been so wonderful having people in the house! Even them just being up in their room while I pottered about, made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Really family like. I baked, we had conversations about all sorts and I just felt super content! I suppose this is what they call nesting? I am trying to be good and do lots of books research and writing but my days are starting to consist of baby forum addiction and daydreaming about our little one. That’s when I’m not eating or napping of course.

I even tried to get a job! Because, you know. Money. It’s not about just me anymore and some extra cash could have been handy but trying to get employment while pregnant, even temporary admin work, is just plain impossible. Husband now won’t let me apply for any more as I’m getting rather big and trundley (it’s a word), and he rather I not get stressed at some job when really all that matters is the health of our baby. I think now that we’ve bought most of the big expensive things (car seat, pram), and it hasn’t resulted in us being sucked into a black hole of poverty, we’ve chilled out a bit and actually, we’re doing ok.

Yay for boob dairy and Aldi nappies!

You may or may not also remember, that in order to keep as healthy and fit as possible I joined my local gym so I could go swimming. I have managed to go at least 3 times a week up until now, and am actually kind of proud! I’ve never found it easy to stick to exercise regimes, but I am still loving it and it’s so nice to feel weightless for a bit of my day.  Plus it really helps me get through those emotional rollercoasters. Love endorphins 😀

It’s a damn good job that I am doing some exercise as I still have not been able to go for a week without pizza!!! I assume hormones are the culprit (I remember going through similar food issues as a teenager when I got put on the pill) and I am just ravenous for stodgy carbs (but mainly pizza). I’m not too fussed. I’m still making sure to eat plenty of fruit and veg everyday and I don’t think this is really the time to be worrying about weight. If baby needs pizza to grow big and strong, who am I to say no?

Let’s just hope it doesn’t come out like this!

Because I might…you know. Eat it.

Lmfao-I-swear-Im-not-the-only-one-addicted-to-pizza-There-are-others-out-there-like-me-LOL

Blog Update! I Haven’t Drowned In Baby Fever…Yet

You may have presumed that through all my baby fever, I’ve completely forgotten about my site! Well I couldn’t blame you for that assumption. It has been pretty quiet on here, although if you follow my Facebook or Instagram pages you’ll have noticed a bit more activity. But fear not! I have not forgotten or abandoned The Unmarked Road! That’s the beauty of not having a set path; it can take you anywhere.

I wrote a few months ago about how pregnancy has completely shifted my perspective on life, and as someone who can only write from my own experiences and from what I am feeling, this was inevitably going to affect the direction my writing would take.

So while it may have seemed all quiet, I have been a busy little mummy-to-bee with regards to what I want to do with this blog. I don’t want to undo the work that’s gone into the site and I still want the mental health aspects to be present as they are an important part of my journey.

But generally I am so happy being a wife and soon to be mother – there is so much joy in my life – that I want this to be the prevalent theme within the site going forward!

So look out for a relaunch of The Unmarked Road! With new design, About Me page etc, but certainly with aspects of my journey of how I got to this point still being present, such as my depression and anxiety. Without these things, I wouldn’t be where I am now. And that is something I could never be ashamed about or feel regretful over.

Dani xx

My Email To #CosmoUk About Why I Cancelled My Subscription

Hi Cosmo,

Thank you for your email and for asking for feedback as to why I have decided after 10 long years to cancel my subscription with Cosmopolitan Uk.

I have always loved reading my monthly issues of Cosmo. Unlike other magazines I found true journalistic and female empowerment pieces, less fashion (because I would buy Vogue if I was a fashionista) and less airhead bimbo celebs. Ultimately you were that little bit less shallow while still providing a good escape from the mundane every day.

You were a bit more down to earth and I liked that I could relate on a different, more intellectual and less superficial level.

You also made me feel good about being who I was; instead of focusing on physical attributes of women you celebrated accomplishments.

Alas it was not to last.

Your latest two issues featured ‘celebrities’ (firstly Millie Macintosh and then Kim Kartrashian) which are the exact opposite of what I consider to be female empowerment. I always thought of Cosmo to be above these self-obsessed types who contribute nothing to society other than their own self-interested agendas and who are famous for nothing but posting 100s of selfies across the internet.

If I want to read about the vacuous airheads that are filling up Instagram with overzealously photoshopped porn-promo pics, I’ll go and read the Daily Mail or Heat magazine thanks.

I do however understand that at the ripe old age of 30 I may come from an era that believes celebrities – those who use their fame to make a difference in the world through charity, who consider posting nonstop narcissistic photos of their behinds unnecessary and who have achieved something worthy of publishing – should have actual class and talent and that this makes me an unprofitable customer.

I can understand why Cosmopolitan is no longer targeting women like me as an audience, but rather those impressionable young girls who have image and narcissism rammed down their throats daily by social media instead, who will through insecurity buy whatever health hazardous beauty product these zelebs are peddling.

I would like to thank Cosmo for 10 wonderful subscription years and wish you all the best in the future.

Kind regards

Dani

Easy To Judge

It is so easy to judge others on everything from how they look, to their relationships, to the way they bring up their children. To some it seems an actual hobby! However, how often do we recognise that we too once made choices in our lives that were considered by other’s as ‘wrong’ or ‘a mistake’? Whether these decisions were indeed an error in judgement or if they ended up being the greatest risk ever taken, it is neither anyone’s business, nor does it actually matter because without allowing for mistakes, without taking risks, we would never learn anything new. We cannot run before learning to crawl and walk.

don't judge me

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My Week Of Swimming

As part of my general fitness but also to make my pregnancy and labour easier in July, I’ve joined my local pool and intend on swimming 5 days a week, mainly in the mornings software task management.

So how did last week go?

Monday:

I forgot my towel. They didn’t hire them out and my plan of buying one in the local JD Sports failed. But I did officially sign up (and for half price too!) and managed to buy a new swimming costume that didn’t make me look and feel like a Weeble! Result(ish)

Tuesday:

Managed to get my sister 5 free passes so went swimming with her and my adorable niece. I did some minor league swimming but enough for a good start!

Wednesday:

Early morning 8am, half an hour proper swim! Yes! This was awesome. I felt like a new me. A better me. A healthier me. Apart from the BLT. And the cake. Yeh maybe I shouldn’t have eaten the cake as well.

Thursday:

Another day for a family swim. Only I forgot my goggles. And pants…

Friday:

I’m such an eager beaver I forget there’s water polo unit 8.30 and have to wait to go in! But I get my full swim in and am home by 9.30. Crisp sandwich doesn’t count does it?

So there you have it. An eventful week, but I can honestly say I feel fantastic. My diet needs a bit more work, granted, but the cravings and exercise induced hunger are hard to conquer!

I will keep you informed of my progress.

Dani xx

Huge Announcement!

Dear followers, dear friends.

I would like to share with you today some very exciting person news.

Babyanounce

Needless to say this is so ridiculously exciting (and it might explain why I’ve been a little more quiet on the blog front).

The Unmarked Road is truly an exciting journey to be on!

Dani xx

I’d Rather Make A Thousand Mistakes

It is hard breaking away from the masses. It is even harder to find your own way when there isn’t a marked out path. I have the utmost respect for those who try to follow a passion or dream in the face of criticism.

It seems, however, that when those traveling on the unmarked road are unsuccessful at something, those sitting comfortable in their golden cages feel smug with an air of ‘I told you so’ about them. Like their own restrictive lives have been vindicated. But ALL successful people have failed. Simon Cowell, Stan Lee and even Walt Disney were all bankrupt before becoming a success. 

A successful person is NOT someone who never fails. A successful person fails many times and instead sees this as feedback on how to do something differently. Failure is just a word, a state of mind and can be the beginning of something new. Something better.

I use failure as a sign that something isn’t right for me or isn’t align with my true purpose in life. So I move on to the next idea. My only failure would be if I gave up. If I went back to a life that was governed by someone else instead of me.

So don’t let an unsuccessful venture or a dead-end idea put you off. Don’t feel ashamed for having tried. It takes courage to swim against the grain, and even more courage to step away from something that isn’t working and admit that it’s time to move on to something else.

Certainly never let people who are stuck in their own unhappy existence, judge yours. You only ever need answer to yourself.

Love, Dani xx

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