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Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Dividing Line of Youth and Future.

This has been a long time coming but I think I have finally reached my all-time low. Every single day I awaken with a little less spirit and a more profound feeling of worthlessness than the one that I woke up with yesterday. My excitement, curiosity and simmering anticipation are all starting to fade away. I feel like I have let down a past version of myself who had this unwavering belief that I would get to be the best that I can be.  With every unanswered application comes a tiny chipping away at my soul and the little voice of doubt becomes a little bit louder, telling me that I should think about compromising on my dreams and start to settle for less. At what point does this time come? At what point should I give up on applying for the dream jobs and start applying for the 'get me by' jobs?

Since I was five years old and spent hours at a time in my bedroom making clothes for my barbies out of tissues I knew that fashion would become a big part of my life and I was excited at the thought that one day I could have a job in fashion. Then in my teens I devoured any kind of media I could get my hands on and enjoyed the access that it gave to a whole other world. Growing up in a rural village in Northern England I always knew there was something else out there and I always knew that I could be a part of it. And for a little while I was. I always felt like a bit of a fraud, masquerading as somebody that I'm not, but to my delight I found that no one doubted my right to be there. 

Somebody once gave me a tiny sticker that says the words 'Believe In Yourself and Everything That You Are' which I have on my bathroom mirror that I look at every day. Every inspirational piece of advice that anyone ever gives to anyone will contain something about believing in yourself in order for others to believe in you too, and this is something that I have started to struggle with. You see, I do-or at least I did- believe unquestioningly and whole-heartedly that I can be who I want to be and do what I want to do and go where I want to go, but this belief is worthless without an outlet in which to prove these claims.

Sometimes it feels like I'm in a glass cage in the middle of Piccadilly Circus; I can see everything that is going on and so desperately want to be a part of it but no one can hear me shouting to let me out, so I just have to stand by and watch everything that's going on. I'd be much more useful on the outside of the cage and I might even be able to make a difference but I start to wonder if people can see the cage around me.

I am so hungry to learn, poised at any moment to give it my all, but my moment never comes. I have a brain full of ideas, a heart full of dreams and a wardrobe full of clothes ready for a new life that I can no longer see within my grasp.  I am so acutely aware of how short life is and I hate myself every day that time is just slipping by, unremarkable.

I know this post is really just a rant and there are people who are far, far worse off than me, but it is a truly disheartening place to be, knowing that you have so much to give yet somehow being passed by by the people who hold the key to your future and success. I don't want to sound entitled or bitter because I'm sure that the posts I have applied for have been filled by people who are very deserving, but I am just hoping that my time will come soon. I feel like I've earned it, and at this point I'll definitely know how lucky I am when that time does come.

Monday, 21 January 2013

'Girls:' A Victim of its own Success?

I actually love HBO's Girls. It brings to television the types of issues that until now have been confined to blogs, books and late night drunken rants. Maybe it's the economy or maybe the world had just been waiting for someone like Dunham to come along, but until now there has been a severe lack of programming which examines the emotions, struggles and experiences of middle class, well-heeled twentysomethings who are desperately trying to find their way in life, and does it in such a frank, candid and self-mocking manner. The past decade has seen mostly either the thirtysomethings looking for love and fulfillment, a la How I Met Your Mother, Friends, New Girl, Sex and the City et al, or twentysomethings and teens who live impeccably glossy, flawless lives, as seen in The OC, Gossip Girl, 90210, Pretty Little Liars and the likes. In contrast, we'll occasionally see the other extreme such as Shameless, or My Name is Earl, but rarely do we see anything which reflects the lives and evokes the empathies of one of the main viewing demographics, which is the struggling twentysomething.

I appreciate that many will argue that the issues and emotions which are explored in Girls are barely issues at all; their parents are bankrolling their spoiled, entitled, melodramatic 'artists' lifestyles whilst they swan around Brooklyn like the world owes them something, but being unfulfilled isn't a competition. The way that these feelings are explored by Dunham is a refreshing take on what it is like to be us. To finally be accurately represented (however unflattering that may be) and get recognition for it is exciting and hopeful. It's nice to see someone has the guts and the talent to portray how it really feels to be fired from a job for the tenth time 'due to economics' or to be made to feel like your 'employer' is doing you a favour by allowing you to be an unpaid intern. It's also a welcome move to see a truer portrayal of those awkward, unfulfilling and generally embarrassing sexual experiences that we've all had but no one seems to ever acknowledge. Watching said sex scenes is excruciating and hilarious but also evokes a sad moment of recognition when one realises that we've all been there. It's so rare that our demographic is represented so reflectively in the media because it is mostly produced by people who think they know what it's like to be us, but haven't been there themselves in quite some time, so inevitably will get some of the details wrong.

I'm therefore going to go out on a limb and say that Girls may be short-lived in its accuracy, because never again is Lena Dunham going to experience truly what it is like to 'have enough money to stay in New York for four more days, seven if I don't eat lunch' or struggle to find someone willing to read the manuscript of her book. It is the irony of ironies that the show may become a victim of its own success; Dunahm is now firmly in place amongst Hollywood royalty, a position from which  it is difficult to make out how if feels to fall asleep on the subway, have your bag stolen and be stuck in Coney Island with no cab fare, or work in a coffee shop to be able to pay for your iPhone. So I'll be interested to see how well the show does long-term at staying in touch with reality, the way that it has done so beautifully so far.

Weigh in in the comments below!


Friday, 11 January 2013

Dangerous work: if you work at Seattle Grace, you will get seriously ill/die.

It's no secret by this point that I'm obsessive, and one of my particular obsessions is a little TV show called Grey's Anatomy. There have been 9 seasons of the show now, so fans will know that amongst the array of story lines, there is one thing which seems pretty dependable: at least once per season, at least one member of the main cast will either get seriously ill or die. So I have complied you a quick list of these occasions for your convenience:

I was going to do them in vaguely chronological order, but then I decided it would be easier do do by character, as some have had more than one incident:

Cristina Yang accidentally gets pregnant in season one (which, incidentally, leads to the very first 'you're my person' of the series) but it goes wrong and she dramatically collapses in the middle of the OR. Drama drama drama.

But this isn't the extent of Yang's experience as a patient rather than the doctor: a few seasons later, she is involved in a freak icicle accident, because icicles are dangerous and people need to be aware of this. 

She also has a few mental episodes but we won't go into that right now.

Meredith Grey gets appendicitis fairly early on in the series which leads to some hilarious scenes involving a drugged-up Mer, and a jealous Finn and McDreamy vying to be at her side

then there's the time she drowned and sort-of died, and my favourite part of that whole debacle was Cristina's reaction which was really touching

good old Derek saving the day

And there's the time that she donated part of her liver to her dad, so Mer has experienced the hospital a fair few times as a patient as well as a doctor. 

Izzie Stevens goes sort of crazy and has cancer, almost-but-then-doesn't die and then leaves. 

George O'Malley gets hit by a bus and dies. Two of the most heart-wrenching scenes of the whole series are related to this

The first being that harrowing moment where Meredith realises it's George

And the second being that elevator scene. Sob.

And rounding off the MAGIC segment of this piece is Alex, who was shot on the rampage that was the season 6 finale. The part where he shouts for Izzie was a really nice touch I felt. 

Owen Hunt also was shot at the hospital, which is kind of ironic given he managed to survive an actual war, but whatever.
He looks pretty uncomfortable at Kepner and Grey being the ones who haphazardly patch him up.

Whilst we're on the subject of shootings, let's not forget that Burke was also shot, but no one really cared because I seem to remember that it was at the same time that Denny died (can anyone confirm this?)

Next we have Callie, who was in a terrible car accident which nearly killed her and her unborn child

Lexie, who was casually just in a plane crash and died

Mark Sloan, who was on that same plane but didn't die, started to recover, but then died anyway

Arizona was also on the plane and ended up losing her leg

(or is this a picture from the car crash? TOO MANY ACCIDENTS TO KEEP TRACK OF)

Let's not forget Derek, who was shot in the massacre, and was severely injured in the plane crash

I also seem to remember that waaaaay back in season 1 Dr Weber had some weird brain thing that Derek had to operate on? Does anyone remember this?

Honorable mentions go to: the interns who had the severely premature baby, Bailey's husband on the day that their baby was born, Adele, Ellis, Thatcher, Henry and Denny. 

So, to conclude:

Let me know if I forgot anyone!