Turning 20!

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On November 1st, at 3:29pm to be exact, I will be twenty years old.


The range of emotions going through me vary a lot. On one hand, I'm excited! I'm an adult, people have to take me more seriously, it's a brand new chapter of my life and...well, presents! On the other hand, I'm terrified. I can no longer use being a teenager as an excuse for my lack of responsibilities. Teenage years have been the best time of my life- I don't want to let them go! I also feel old. 

However, I have been reflecting on my teenage years a lot and thought I'd share with you all of the lessons I've learnt that I will be carrying with me into my twenties!

1) Friends aren't always forever.
I've had more "best friends" over the last six years than I can count on one hand. Maybe some of them were my fault, but some were the friends fault- we fought, we drifted and all that jazz. I'm friends with just two people from school now, and a few people from college and I consider them all of my best friends- there may not be many but it's definitely quality not quantity! I'm hoping I will manage to hang on to them throughout my twenties (and hopefully beyond that!)

2) You will be screwed over in a BIG way at least once.
It's how you learn to deal with it that makes the difference. You can sit and mope over it or you can cut off the people who have hurt you, learn from it and take that lesson with you- that's what I choose to do. I've been lied to, deceived, manipulated and back stabbed countless times, especially being from an all girls school. As in point one, it's quality not quantity- keep your circle small and full of people you can trust completely.

3) Eyebrows matter.
I went through my teenage years defying the eyebrow trend because I seriously did not care about them. Mine are so light you can hardly see them anyway! Then, about three weeks ago now, I got them waxed and threaded for the first time, then bought myself a brow pencil and started to look after them- well, okay, I admit defeat. Eyebrows do make a difference to your face. Next up, mastering contouring...

4) Trust your gut.
You are always right. Your friends might try and persuade you otherwise, but if you're not 100% happy of comfortable don't do it. It could be saying yes to a boy who wants to take you out, trying drugs, going to a party...whatever it is, if you're not happy, don't do it.

5) Be true to you.
I spent so, so, so, so, so, many years trying to emulate the way the girls around me dressed, did their make up, spent their money and so on. It wasn't until I left secondary school that I learnt who I really wanted to be, and began living that way. I changed massively, and I think a lot of people I bump into from school are surprised when they see me.

6) YOLO...kind of.
You're only a teenager once. So use these wild, crazy, hormone littered years to have all the experiences you want. Dramatic heart break, drunken nights in fields whilst your parents think you're sleeping at a friends house, hanging out at the park for 12 hours a day meeting new people each time, being crazy happy and then crazy sad with no explanation other than "it's just how I feel!", getting random piercings and dying your hair because it seems like such a good idea at the time and so on. Go crazy because other adults will only accept it when you're a teenager. After that come *gulp* responsibilities.

7) Get a job.
I couldn't wait to work and have worked since I was 16- I love earning my own money and don't understand people who don't look for a job as soon as they can! Your teenage years are about the only time you'll have a job without being taxed and having to pay bills, so all the money is yours! Savour it...and maybe save some for later in life. I probably should have done...oh well.

8) Boyfriends rock...when they're right.
I have been with my boyfriend for over five years now and can honestly say I don't regret a moment of it. People told me over and over to put my friends first and to forget about serious relationships at such a young age. Pfft! Most of my friends abandoned me when I got a boyfriend because they didn't like him, I got new friends that I could balance with my boyfriend and no, I do not regret not being able to "get with" other boys at teenage house parties. I love my other half and love that we've been able to grow up together!

9) There will be dark days.
You won't want to get up, you'll feel numb, you won't stop crying. Sometimes there'll be a reason, sometimes there won't be. You'll curl up under the duvet and hibernate for days, sometimes longer. Such is the life of a teenager but things do get better- evidently, because here I am- and life goes on. It feels like forever at the time but I promise it's not.

10) Have fun!
Always have fun, no matter what you do. Make crazy memories, take hundreds of photos, be addicted to social media, fall in love, go to parties, spend too much money, laugh until you feel a six pack forming, go crazy. This doesn't apply to teenagers and is probably one of the most important lessons I will take with me through the rest of my life. Have fun every day. And if you're doing something that's not fun, and not making you happy? Stop. Change something. Life is too short to be miserable.

11) Take every opportunity you can!
I thought being 19 would suck because being 18 had been so good, but I was wrong- it has been the best year of my teenage life. At the start of my teens, I was a little reserved, I dropped all of my clubs and hobbies because they weren't "cool" and some I wish I hadn't. Now, I say yes to as much as I can- and because of it I run this blog, I'm a radio presenter, a trained TV presenter, a freelance writer, a social media manager, run my own magazine and even work with 4music sometimes! I still have to pinch myself that this is my real life and it's all because I learned to say yes to more things and do more by myself! Don't worry what other people will think- if you want to do something that will make you happy or benefit your life, do it! Say yes!

Being a teenager has been a roller coaster, but a lot of fun- being 19 has been amazing  and I have had such a great and successful year! Now, let's see what the twenties will bring...

Love from,
Florence Grace


Germaine Greer

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Recently, feminist icon Germaine Greer stated that, in her own opinion, transgenders (Male to Female) were not women, because they do not talk, act or sound like women. She's now suffering from some serious backlash regarding this situation, claiming she's had people be violent towards her, had things thrown at her, verbal abuse and has no longer been allowed to receive an honorary degree from her college after the things she has said.

Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, I consider myself as a person who treats people the same regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation and the like and I don't think that being lesbian or being transgender or being a certain race should prevent you from doing anything, ever. Because it shouldn't!

However, I do find myself in a bit of an awkward situation, as I see both sides of the argument here and whilst I disagree with some of what Germaine says, I also agree with some of it too.

Let's start with is a transgender woman (male transitioned to a female) a woman? This is a hard one for me to comment on. I'm inclined to say yes, because if they feel like a woman, they have female genitalia and a woman is who they want to be then I too shall honour their preferences and I will acknowledge them as a woman. It would be so awful and rude for me not to! However, whilst you still have male genitalia I'm sorry but scientifically you aren't a woman. That doesn't stop my opinion of course, I will consider anybody who wants to be a woman, a woman. It's just how I am! However, I do understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to be quite frank, if Germaine doesn't want to think that male's who have transitioned to females are "women" then she doesn't have to. She stated that she will use feminine pronouns and use their desired names, which is good, but if she doesn't think of them as women- well, no one can make her. 

In the interview, the journalist brought up Will Young's new music video, where a transgender person is attacked in the street. Germaine had clearly done her research and fired back about, "oh the one where he's running down the street naked? Well you try running down the street naked!" and she's right! I haven't seen the music video myself, so my comments may not be strictly accurate but if anyone was running down the street naked they would probably be attacked in one way or another by someone. You're naked in public, regardless of whether you're transgender or not you'll cause a scene!

A point Germaine made that I strongly disagreed with was her comment regarding the suffering of transgender people, stating that they didn't suffer more than any other person. I believe this is totally wrong. The fact that she's received all of this backlash for her comments surely indicates it's because there's still a stigma around transgender people that needs to be removed. It's not easy changing who you were born as, changing despite your parents, family or friends disagreeing, being bullied for being different, discriminated against at hospitals and jobs, starting a completely new life as a new person! Being transgender is a lot harder than not being transgender and I think that was a very ignorant comment for her to make.

Finally, her comments regarding Caitlyn Jenner, that she should not be awarded Woman of the Year. This I totally agree with. Caitlyn was brave, but why should we recognise her and not every other transgender woman? If she wasn't from the Kardashian bubble, her transition would not be half as significant as it has been- it might sound horrible but it's true. There are women who build schools for the less privileged, save lives every day, accomplish incredible academic feats at such young ages, these are deserving of women of the year awards. And also...Caitlyn made her decision as a man. She was a man when she decided to make this brave decision. And yes, I know, they can't give her man of the year as she is now a woman, and I respect that. But I think that if we hunted, we'd find much more deserving women. I'm not talking Beyonce or Angelina Jolie or your typical celeb, I mean someone who has done something worthwhile! Yes I appreciate that transitioning in front of the whole world is probably the most difficult thing Caitlyn has done but...I don't know. I don't think she deserves woman of the year for it.

At the end of the day, everyone has an opinion and no one is going to agree with everyone. I think transgender women are women, Germaine does not. We can't change that, but what we can change is the abuse people with opinions like hers are receiving. It's a waste of time- their opinions, their minds, they aren't going to change! So rather than focus on the few negative people, we should spend time focusing on the larger proportion of people who are trying to eradicate the stigma. Germaine is now receiving a lot of publicity (lucky her) because we won't stop talking about her. Forget her and focus on the positives instead.

But hey...this is all just my opinion!

Love from,
Florence Grace

Problems with being in an LTR

I have been with my significant other for over five years now- that is over half a decade and, in short, an incredibly long time. We've been through our up's and down's, good times and bad and made plenty of memories that I will treasure for a life time. In all honesty, I wouldn't change my relationship for the world. My other half may not be perfect, be neither am I- who is? However, being in a long term relationship (LTR) does come with it's problems, and I'm not talking partner-based problems either. Here's what I struggle with in my LTR...

1) Relationship status. They're your best friend, other half, soul mate and every other term you want to use in the book. They're everything. The word 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' simply doesn't cover it...it sounds so immature, like you're 14 and going on your first dates still. But what does work...partner? Significant other? It's just such a dilemma! Also on job applications, "Are you single or married?" Well...I'm neither? Yet "boyfriend" or "girfriend" or "dating" doesn't seem professional enough so you send silent apologies to your partner as your click "single". First world problems.

2) Comparisons. People who have been together for way less than you and your other half have are suddenly getting engaged, having babies, moving in together. The stress is real- should you be at this stage to? Is there something you should be doing that you're not? You thought everything was fine but here's Sandra and Alan getting engaged after 8 months! Clearly you're doing it wrong. It becomes worse when Sandra and Alan come up all smug "Oh, when is it your turn?! Heheheheh" Bore off.

3) Romance. You don't love each other any less, and yes you occasionally do sweet things for each other but in general, you're far more relaxed because you know how you feel about each other. Until you see your boyfriend sat picking his nose whilst your friend receives roses from her boyfriend of 3 weeks. You feel envious...but do you care? Your man is perfect- nose picking and all! Flowers every now and then would be nice though...

4) The jokes. "Oh my GOD you two have been together since, like, FOREVER when are you getting married????" HOW HILARIOUS. Not. Your jokes are uncomfortable, not funny and not appreciated. See point 2- comparisons between other couples who are moving faster than ourselves is not okay! We are happy going at the speed we are. Similarly "Aren't you two bored of each other yet?" and "You only like each other because you know nothing else" are also not appreciated.

5) The spark. It's joked about time and time again but it's true, you do have to make sure the spark is still there. Don't let everything slide because you're comfortable together, you think he/she is your best friend as well as your partner and so can treat them like a mate...it's important to still make the effort whilst knowing you no longer have to try too hard. Striking the right balance in an effortless way is a fine art- but one that will indeed appear to be effortless if you're with the right person. Aw

Are you in or have you been in an LTR? Do you or did you face any of these problems, or perhaps other problems? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace
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