Sunday, September 17, 2017

The End of the American Dream?

Is THIS what they meant in there in 1776?
August 2, 2005, was the day I had waited for my entire, not-so-long life. 16 years of age, I went through to the gate at Frankfurt International to get on a one-way flight to California. Sina, the aspiring Hollywood actress, was going to America, like all the other successful people. This was, well, not very long after the Nineties, so while it sounds ridiculous now, this is the perception we grew up with over in Germany: people over there make it to the big bucks from a "dishwasher" and I was going to be one of them. This was before graduating High School, twice, and university, twice, so dreaming was all there really was when making plans for the future. So I tried the American Dream, 12 years before Donald Trump became president.

I haven't seen many accounts, including from my friends who voted for this incapable man, that actually believe his DACA decision was a good one. He took a big, fat nail and rammed it into the coffin that held the American Dream of the Nineties. It's dead! Let's start with the notion that the American dream is only for "Americans" anyways, otherwise, he would not be President today. But now, even Americans are not allowed to dream in his country anymore because their parents came in pursuit of that American Dream. Americans will now lose their homes because their parents tried to make their lives better, but not in the way President Trump would envision it 30 years later. So pathetic and so sad - so much so that one has to wonder who actually still wants to try.

Sure, Americans love America, and they will continue to seek and find opportunities. But then I look at my life and those of the people around me here in the land that isn't hailed as the "land of opportunity" and I got to scratch my head: how is it not? The fact that I once left the continent to pursue opportunities is insane now. What would I be looking for today: working long hours, being exposed to gun crime in any side street of the country, paying s***tloads on a mediocre education (or even more on a decent one)? Yo, it does not sound like the land of opportunity to me. Hard work pays off they say in the States, yet from now on thousands of hard-working young people who were part of DACA could be deported, never mind that they will be evicted from their actual birthplaces. The vast, overwhelming majority of these people are successful employees, potentially paying taxes. It doesn't even make a little sense...

At the same time, I got two Masters degrees by working hard, not because I had money because I most certainly didn't. My country helped me with the funds while covering my insurance throughout the whole process. I had to get surgery twice in the last decade, went to college for four years and traveled the world, and yet now I sit on about 6,000 Euros debt that I can pay off in one go later this year when the government calls it in. All that without a guarantee I will ever pay taxes in Germany, and lookey lookey, I never have. I now work for one of the biggest companies in the world, arguably live a rather decent life considering I can go and do whatever I want, and unless God decides I should be sick and takes me out, I will live a life so much better than anyone would deserve. And all I did for it to be reality is being ridiculously lucky... and German!

Of course, in America, all these things are possible, too. The US is far from a crappy country, and I cant avoid the double standard of realizing I work for Americans, so thank you! However, me, the average, middle-class, ambitious woman, born without parents with a sack of gold, would not have what I do in the land of opportunity. I would never have gotten my opportunities. Sure, I had to go to extensive lengths to get them, but the payout from the insanity of going to Egypt or accepting jobs I didn't even know existed, but in my part of the world, more people are born with the freedom to sacrifice all this than in the US. We are far from achieving equality, even in Berlin I was discriminated against for being a woman, but we work on creating opportunities, even for refugees, rather than deporting our own. And for that alone, we win. The land of opportunity is no longer where we once sought it to be. And so I say as a German, a European: If you are looking for opportunities, try looking here!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cheesy Truth: One Day is all it takes

I'm in awe of life sometimes. This girl tries hard to see every day for what it is: an opportunity. I have taken many, probably missed just as many or more, but I try, at least harder than most. Of course, daily life, distractions, stupidity and not being able to do what we know is the right decision for whatever reason is hard to avoid, right now I know that better than ever, but there are these days where we have done the right thing, and it completely changes everything. One of them for me was today, three years ago: the day I set off to Egypt, tears streaming down my face, nothing left to give, thoroughly NOT looking forward to any day that was to come. I changed my life. And it worked. In just one day. If life can do that, what else can it do?

How did this...
I find myself in the mindset of "It could happen, but it's unlikely" too often. Especially with potential that is put to the test, its easier to believe it's just not meant to be. But then I think back to this day, three years ago, when my life held no promise, and look at where I am now. Like literally, right now, I am sitting at my desk in my own home, fresh flowers next to me, a Yankee candle burning, a bottle of chilled Sauvignon in the fridge and Alexa playing ocean sounds. I have a job, and a great one at that, and I live in England like I had imagined it when I was 13 years old. With no effort whatsoever, for once, I was presented this life; I didn't even look for the job like the 300 others in my lifetime. I never actively tried to move to England despite thinking it'd be a nice idea before Brexit. And yet, if that day three days ago hadn't happened, I know for sure, I would not be sitting here right now.

These hard decisions are hard to make, as the name suggests. Pay offs are great though. And even the stuff that goes wrong, it takes us forward. Progress is the word. The decision to go to Egypt, the hardest one I ever had to make, was terrifying and didn't feel "good" a single day I was there. I kept remembering I had to get to a pretty shitty point in life to be forced down that route, but every day I also knew it would pay off. Eventually. I didn't think the pay off was going to be a news job at a tech giant, not even for a second, but I knew the day would come I'd say a big fat "Oh, that's why..." It would have been great to be given all these things that came out of that decision without having to make the experience itself, but that's not how it works. Those good things aren't half as good if they come easy, Id know.

...turn into this?
I recently had a conversation with a friend who is divorcing. Of course, neither of the two people would have married a few years ago if they'd considered divorce would be an option. But things happened, it didn't work out. I asked him why they didn't divorce earlier since things weren't right for a while, and the answer was expected: "I just never saw myself as a divorcee". That's why people get married, they want to be married. They love that person and don't plan to stop. But well, it happens... I never saw myself living in Egypt, writing the news for a robot to read out to people, or making poor romantic choices like I have in recent months. To all these scenarios I would have said "I would never..." this time three years ago. And the fact that I am now that person, because I had the courage to make hard decisions that went against what I thought I wanted, shows me that life can take you anywhere... if you let it. 

All these inspirational quotes, the cheesy lines, of how a day is enough to change a life, are true. My life very often didn't feel like my own because I had preconceived notions about what the words "my life" entail. I thought I'd have children, I thought I'd be a journalist covering refugees, I thought I'd live in the States. None of that has happened yet, and I sometimes walk through the tiny streets of Cambridge and think "wait, how the hell did this happen?" But it did, and I think it's legitimate to claim that's a weird, unpredictable outcome I never pursued. For the future, I learned that planning, promising and predicting is pointless. I want to be the girl that says "yes" to crazy, maybe stupid or extraordinary ideas, and the day I went to Egypt I prove I can be that girl. I got lucky, but only because I gave luck the chance to find me... 

Friday, August 4, 2017

I went for the "good guy" and only found a**holes

Although I share widely, I seldom share candidly. It's in the back of my mind all the time that I am very often hated, misunderstood, and judged based on things that are not even remotely in my heart. Everyone is, I definitely am. I never lie, but I try to portray my "impeccable" life just as much as the next girl does. And then there's heart business, and getting judged on that is too hard. So, the inevitable "I never care about anyone" is as much of a half-truth as the fact that I am always strong and can deal with anything. Of course, that's all true, I can and will, but sometimes even I don't want to be that person. So this blog very often became my outlet, made me feel better, and offered a glimpse into how a person feels, but it very rarely talked about what stuff I sincerely struggle with. Finding answers to the painful questions never had to happen that much, but when it does, like now, it becomes the space I make that happen. 

And now it's happened: after a very long time of not even a tiny dent in the road, my heart got a little crack. And - big surprise - a human being is the root cause. Once again, I met someone who vowed to be "good" - and was until the day I believed it. I am by no means stupid, give people little chance to hurt me but when I do, it's like they feel it and boom, something goes wrong. But they're the good kids, so it must be other circumstance... Now, this sounds soppy and it shouldn't because the vast majority of people are not disappointments. And even my disappointments are not due to the fact that they were disappointing people, including the latest one. But some way or another, despite trying to do exactly the opposite, these people tried hard to build my expectations, and the minute I caught myself having them is almost exactly the moment they change their mind. Despite large efforts to take care, I fail! I think that's a valiant effort not to end up being the stupid one but I still feel pretty damn stupid now.

A candid part I never shared because, well, it's one of the very rare things I deem too private, is that after my childhood, trusting individuals, especially the romantic ones, is not an easy feat. I've had many male friends in my life and although great people, many of them did not reassure my belief in "good men". Back in uni, my best friend was a d*** to women... but it was cool because he was a great guy to me. You see where the lines blur... In recent years I then found out that "good man" does not translate into "good partner": some wonderful people are bad boyfriends. A dishonest man isn't a bad man, I know that one much more than I care to admit. But I do believe I fear this too much. It's not a boycotting mechanism or the fact I am simply too damn bored and need some excitement; it's the fact that even good men are bad sometimes and that they, at some point, realize they owe me nothing, including a phone call or an apology. And then, looky looky, a good man turned into an asshole... 

This year, there's been three. After 11 years I gave up, finally, on a guy that easily convinced me he was a "good guy". I don't understand why they always try so hard to appear like one, then disrespect you (and others, in this case) without even feeling bad about it. For someone to blow it after all these years without so much as picking up the phone is, of course, a massive let down. The fact there is another girl that "meant nothing", is not that great either. Cool story! At least the time that happened to me before, the guy went on to date that girl for years. Easier said than done after solemnly believing - for over a decade - I'm looking at one of the good guys. And while this good guy is probably not a bad human being, his weakness and cowardice translated into me feeling like shit, and him not caring. Now, that's not a good guy, is it? But, but... he volunteers and buys people flowers...!! Big deal... Next! 

Number two this year I also knew for 8 years. Best guy in uni. Absolutely, what a nice guy. Great banter, nice times, never harmed so much as a fly. Well, I guess he didn't realize that ignoring me from one day to the other, probably because there was someone else on the scene, wouldn't make me feel too hot. Like, it's easy to get over obviously, but it's not a nice thing to come from a nice guy.
And then recently, a guy I know is 100% good who just doesn't believe it himself. I tried to make sure he remains the good guy and I still believe he is. Being a good guy just doesn't stop them from doing things I can't and won't believe they didn't know would hurt me, and possibly others. So, good guys do bad things, and when they truly didn't mean to do it only makes it harder to see them as the asshole that needs to be avoided. And I'm not better myself, because I, a self-proclaimed nice girl, have done some shitty things, and many, many people perceive me as a bad person (for which some have a legitimate reason, excluding everyone who claims to know me in Egypt...).

I try to look at why these people ended up hurting me, and usually, I don't see bad intentions, just weakness. I only recently learned that even an unintentional heartbreak is heartbreak, though. The good guy might not have tried to be bad, but he was and assuming that only provides an excuse. Excuse for what? Well, for the ones we love, and for our ego because who likes to claim they liked an asshole, right? I am so guilty of that: excusing the good guys who did not try to harm me. Maybe it's an attempt to wash myself clean because the easy assumption is just making me look too bad: they didn't care all along and got what they wanted/got too annoyed/found something better. That heartbreak, having been used or disrespected, feels worse than the honest one.

There is good and bad in all of us, and we all know that. Most of the time, my good guy turning into an asshole was coming from a place of weakness. Not going rogue shouldn't be too hard: in my cases here, NOT lying would have done it. Or maybe, NOT taking the relationship to a certain level when they are not in a place to do so, that would have been great. And if all else fails, at least owning up to the mistakes and maybe apologizing could have salvaged the situation. But the weak guys run, and don't confront. By the time the experience showed that the belief in such guys is misplaced, they are already in the heart at which point it's easier to tell ourselves they're great guys deep down... just not this once. It's a ridiculous farce I certainly need to drop. Right now, I'm still making excuses for the last bad "good guy"... and because he really isn't the bad guy, it will probably take a while to make me believe that!

Friday, July 21, 2017

My Ode to London

I was 11 years old when I first came to London. My parents were on the rocks, but we went, as a family, on a school trip with my sister's school class. Our city hotel had a large bathtub but was freezing, much like I would be in my four years as a Brit later on in life. I had had two, maybe three months of English class at school and thought I was setting off to see the world. That was before I knew that London was the world. Not just mine, but everyone's. At 11 years old, one does not understand that there are people from near and far that call one place their home although they were not born there. And I, myself, had never called a place I wasn't born at "home". Oh, how much life has changed. The world has become home to many, including me, and hence, London has now well and truly become "home".

I don't live in London and I spend too little time there to even remotely justify a "Londoner" tag. Maybe it is my safe distance that makes my heart blossom when my train rolls into Kings Cross. And of course, the downsides of living in an urban jungle are very much present to me so I can appreciate my current address. However, the feeling of having London "at the doorstep" means I have a friend ringing my bell. Everything I want, everything I am, everything I appreciate, has room in London. Unlike Cambridge, London has all kinds of people, not just the families. Unlike Cambridge, London makes me feel young. And unlike Cambridge, I will be able to drink an (extortionate) cocktail with complete strangers past the crazy hour of 11pm in London.

I thought I was ready for Cambridge and the life it holds. It turns out, I am not. After two years in the worst city in the world, every part of "Cambridge is a tranquil paradise" sounded good to me. Monday through Friday, that works out well for me. But when I finish a week like the one I'm about to finish, the prospect of checking out the two possibilities in Cambridge (lying in bed, doing nothing, or going to a tourist-filled market) just don't hold up. Escapism, to London. I mean, who does that? Yeah, me! I flee the boring life I have finally created and remind myself that I am exciting, able to do pretty fun things with my time and money and, most importantly, not weird for NOT being married and pregnant. Around here, only one place can make that happen...

A rather chunky early-20 Sina in the big city... 
Most people use their past experience to define a place, and I am no different. Other than my visit to London with my parents, there are moments in London that have genuinely made my life. At 18, Nina and I came back, stayed in a hostel, went partying with a footballer, and felt like we are global adults. That's a nice memory to have at that age. Being cool, in London, meant a big deal then. In 2011 my future-boyfriend Alastair came down to meet me in London after traveling 13 hours on a bus just to hang out. It was Christmas time, I was starting to be smitten, and placed my first kiss on the boy on platform 11 at Kings Cross. So many memories, some old, some young. Only a month ago I was sipping free prosecco and eating a free gin ice lolly with my German BFF at Covent Garden and won a purse. London loves me! Out of fear of these memories being tainted, my heartbroken self-canceled my trip to London in 2013 so that I would never have to be sad in London. And I managed that...

... until last week. I was walking through London, being affected by some things that have happened, and couldn't accept that my heart had suffered in London. The previous night I had been exceptionally happy, went to a West End show, walked through Soho which I love and felt, unlike so many times, rather comfortable. Then some shitty events changed the mood, and as soon as I had a chance, I left London and returned to where it was ok to feel like that. Not in London. London remains the place where I can forget. That city, hence, is a treasure where all coins are bright because I only filled the chest with the golden ones. It is because of this that I cannot commit to London long-term: life would eventually give me a black coin.

Even the sights still excite me...
Like now. This past week, the very few corners of Cambridge I already knew served as a reminder of how the very short time I have had here was misplaced. What Cambridge was for the last few months, it is no more. And additionally, Cambridge can't mend this for me right now. Dundee loved me, Cairo shattered me, Hanford supported me. My places have made me or destroyed me. And there is a place that has given me the chance to be whatever it is I want to be that day. This week, that's a person with friends who have ended up in London in great numbers. This week, that's a person who has something to get over. And London is full of these persons, and more. 200 languages spoken every day, and one of them is mine. And with that sheer number of opportunities, the chances of finding the escapism I usually need from the city are just as vast. I may end up bitter, alone and filled with darkness, like many a Londoner, but I like my chances... 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Death: just as scary at 82 as at 28

Some people (who are not me) find it hard to be optimistic in the light of recent events. I mean, let's face it, the kinds a stuff coming out of the news these days are just not encouraging. A news outlet, like the one I try to work on, that covers good news and uplifting stories, is struggling more often than not finding things to talk about. But well, I can't help it, I love this particular life right now and want to have the best time with it. When I am then confronted with stories, in which people wake up to be burning alive in their house, I can't help to spend more than my average two minutes on the thought that it could be over any minute. Literally. Nobody is ready for death but would my life be taken too early if I dropped right now? The answer to this question also goes hand in hand with why it's just so important to not think about how to live life all the time.

I am 100% not ready for death. Who is, ever? Yet some people actually do life-threatening things, and I don't mean going to Borough Market on a Saturday Night. I have many friends in the forces, saw this story of a torero today and then, of course, that guy Baumgartner who jumped from space to land in a small net on Earth. So, I can only assume that these people are quite possibly less scared of death than I am. Why, I don't know. Maybe faith. I was less scared of it when I was dead-certain Jesus was waiting for me on the other side. It consoles me knowing that some people who went too early (or even in due time) said goodbye to this life in good faith there's another waiting. But even if there is, my fear of death persists. The next life, if it exists, might not have the sun, or ice cream, or some of the people I love so much. And that would be scary.

Being a pretty brave person, there's not many things that really do scare me, but death is definitely on the list. Everybody has dreams and we all wanna see them come to life before we bow out. Me on the other hand, I wouldn't really know what these dreams are. At some points in life, I thought it'd be procreation, but I am certain now that my life will continue to fulfill me if I don't have children. Getting my PhD won't make a difference over whether I'm gonna die happy or not either. If I died tomorrow, I'd die happy although my dream of being 90 did not come true. And this might be the result of living a life in the smartest way possible. It's smart because it works: I'm happy! It's because, after years and years of working on it, I have stopped expecting, assessing and thinking about what's right. I do what makes me happy at the time in the hope it will continue to make me happy. Nothing probably will. Like myself, the things to make me happy will change, too.

That's why I am looking back at a catalog of decisions I know for a fact other people wouldn't have made. I did wrong things, stupid things, and things that would disappoint people, but in the end, the only judgement I really have to worry about is my own. So if I die tomorrow, and someone else may judge me, I may lose a few points but I made it to this day with, I feel, the best life I could have lived with the cards that were given to me. I was dealt a very fair hand, and I truly believe I couldn't have played it any better. At some points, the cards sucked, of course, but one could argue it just made me a better player. But I did 21 right, I'm doing 28 well, and hopefully, I'll get a few more to try. Fact is, at the end of the day (or all days), I will, whenever it is, have found a way to maximize the time I got.

Of course, if I die now, I won't get to experience parenthood (which is sad), I would never be a dog mamma (which is sad) and it'd just be a pity for all the things I'm no doubt gonna have fun with, but it wouldn't be too early. Because for what was available, the time was used well, and not thinking about the possibility of dying. I don't like to think about what I do; the only thought worth thinking is: will I have that chance again? So my fear of death makes me live the way I do, not thinking about tomorrow, doing whatever I want because it might be the last chance to do any given thing. So far, it's worked out for me. Despite all the weird things I've done, I have no regrets, it all worked out. And when I die, I'm sure it'll be sick, but I hope I can look back and say "way to go, that could have been way worse, Sina!". 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

100 Days of Cambridge: Love it or Hate it?

"The first 100 days“ is a thing. We all know that. What applies to presidents definitely applies to us normal folk as well. When we embark on a new path, the first 100 days are just as formative as they are in a presidential term. And so, I have now finished my first 100 days in Cambridge. I have relocated enough times to know that sentiments gathered in the initial honeymoon period have a way of corroborating longer into the stay. My first 100 days in Scotland was the happiest time of my life thus far, which ended up being the happiest period of my life all together. In addition, my beginnings in Cairo were the hardest 100 days of my life, equally setting precedents for what would become the most challenging two years of my life for probably the remainder of it. So where does Cambridge, England tie into this? I think I can see a direction… 

100 days were enough to realize that it is not what I had expected. I, of course, didn’t expect Scotland but I did think it would be a bit of a homecoming anyways. At least, I thought, it will be more Scottish than German, and with that I was wrong. England indeed isn’t Scotland and that’s a shame. There are aspects to this that are obviously less dramatic than others are, like the drinking and the lack of acceptable fish & chips in all of Cambridge, but there are the people. And that part is different. The English have a global reputation I would like to dismiss; more often than not, I have found so far, the English really are very polite and proper, but emotionally not very far-ranging. For a person like me, that is a challenge.

Additionally, I expected a student town with lots of public debate, drunk intellectuals and the diversity that comes with a university. Well, not around here. I suppose with a price tag like the one at the University of Cambridge, also known as the finest institution of higher education on this entire continent, sometimes in the world, it is a given that the majority of these kids are born into privilege. They are also overwhelmingly white or Asian. The fact this university has various colleges which equal the likes of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff in the Harry Potter universe, exclusivity is obviously a thing. Whether it’s their fancy dinners they are having in their great halls, wearing dress robes on a weeknight, or a debate about politics, engagement with “the world that is out there” is completely optional and not very encouraged. In that world, the rest of the world likely won’t have to matter anyways.

But now that I’ve pointed out my disappointment, this argument has to take a course. Although these parts of life have panned out differently than expected, the first 100 days have unveiled a large amount of positivity. Sure, the novelty is wearing off, I’m getting more bored by the day, but the prospect of staying here for further hundreds of days is a pleasant one. I was lucky to be spared the fight for friends in a new country once again because enough people I already befriended in the past ended up here or share a kitchen with me. The only downside to the quick but good connections I was able to make is that most of them are linked to another individual as part of a relationship. As a result, even when surrounded by people my age, I sometimes feel a bit old. I consider myself absolutely too young to think about “forever” and am flabbergasted that in this country so many people my age have already committed to it.

The beauty of Cambridge has so many faces, though. Sure, it’s easy to see when walking by the Cam river, watching the rowers coast by meadows hosting cows, or the stunning colleges. For me, however, this experience is so much more. The most beautiful part, to me, is being in my cozy flat, knowing that I am conducting an independent lifestyle free from many of the worries that have at times made my life rather ugly. My achievements, my money, my decisions. And for once I have various freedoms that allow me to make them. Most people my age have the desire to feel satisfied with what they have shaped their life to be, and for me it’s the essence of happiness knowing that the many, many sacrifices I made throughout my life have provided me with a living situation much better than what I even thought possible for a girl like me. Meanwhile, I need the beauty to remind me that I deserve none of this but have to enjoy it while I can. My first 100 days have started to uncover that beauty, and I’m truly curious to see what else surfaces in the coming hundreds…

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

When there's a snap election, and the "Greens" invite you to campaign...

Interesting things have unfolded this month and mamma's been busy. I have a job that keeps me in the loop and a personality that doesn't allow me to leave that loop, so when the snap election was called I knew my life would momentarily succumb to news, news and news. And looky, it somehow happened. Now, I don't need to write about the snap election too much, yet, I live in Brexitland, governed by a lady who vowed to definitely, absolutely not call a snap election. And here we are, 9 days away from the snap election not even a year after the Brexit vote, and this country is going to choose this woman to lead them. Fine, I wouldn't, but cool. No such thing as a bad experience, right? Gotta learn somehow...

That's exactly what I told myself when I was offered to support the Green Party campaigning in Bristol this past holiday weekend. First of all, politics is my hobby, so a political trip is the epitome of time well spent for me. And second, I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to both a campaign and British party politics. With less than a day to prepare, I found myself behind the wheel to drive to Bristol on early Saturday morning to stay with complete strangers, walking from door to door, chatting about Green policies. Sounds like a normal thing to do? Sure, maybe, only I didn't know much about the Green Party, the terminology of a campaign and, well, my now slightly more foundational criticism of Green policies turned out to make that job a little harder than anticipated.

The people greeting us in Bristol were incredibly nice. Lord knows I love green people, I even like vegans although I'm not vegan, like environmentalists although one could argue my economic policies wouldn't put them first and prefer hanging out with lefties that teach me about positive energy and the "law of attraction". All these facts perish in my persona that appears to more of a slightly annoying Barbie than someone who wants to change the planet. That kind of vibe, that kind of people and that kind of ideology flies better with me than the one I've been constantly around since childhood: spoiled rich kids that think they deserve anything at all. I could happily have stayed in Bristol forever, gatecrashing on the vegan fun and just being altogether accepting of all kinds of people, shapes, and ideologies. Yet, there was still a campaign to run...

While the people conducting this incredible effort were fantastic, without exception, I was on the wrong campaign trip. I accepted I had come along to support the Green Party, so I didn't sabotage, but on day two I opted for a less necessary job than knocking on people's door, talking to them about the Green Party. Firstly, with little more than a day to prepare one could argue I wasn't the best to speak to people with questions, and secondly, if I was speaking from my heart I would have been saying other things. I found it hard to sell an ideology I didn't share, thus making a very fundamental experience; a friend of mine who once ran campaigns, or at least always claimed he did, often referred to his ability to run campaigns for the Republican Party while he himself wouldn't vote for them. As of this experience, I know that I can only stand behind politics if I do stand behind them. I'm a spotlight person, I can't be pulling the strings.

Additionally, I just don't believe in the Green Party manifesto. Would I vote for the Green Party over the existing government? Sure. Would I choose them out of all parties? Hell no. I didn't agree with some points so much so that my selfish desire to come to Bristol to really get to know the Green Party was fulfilled, only that it didn't capture me. The analogy that comes to mind, as always, is that of love. I've been around many fantastic people, good-looking people, smart people, and overall just massive catches. But that wasn't gonna work out. They were great, I appreciated their traits, but for a working relationship, I didn't need their traits. I like a pacifist because I oppose war, but for my kind of relationship, a pacifist can get to f***. It would never work. And that's how I feel about the Green Party: I would love to live in a world that needs this response, I just don't think I do.

And so I spent the day trying to help the Green Party run a successful campaign by resources, folding letters, handing them out, and being the administrative gem I could be. I just wasn't able to be more than that. Now we don't know if I could have pulled it off for any other party but I couldn't for this one. I did, however, experience companionship, a wonderful set of people, and politically learned more about the Green Party than I could have from a point of opposition. I even sat in a circle, on the grass, with a cuppa, with their national leader Jonathan Bartley, all while having no idea who he was because, ya know, everyone is the same. They really don't joke about that, and I love it. So my bottom line is that I wanna hang out with the Green Party but I don't want to vote for them. But since I don't vote in this ridiculous election, I guess we don't even have to have that conversation...