Since Thursday’s vote I’ve been a whirlwind of emotions.
Mainly disbelief and embarrassment.
I didn’t vote for Cameron and can’t say I’m sorry to see him go. But I was able to put my personal feelings aside to vote for something I believed in. A unified Europe.
Unlike some voters, who decided the thinking part was optional and eenie meenie minie moed our way out of a Union I was proud to be a part of.
Democracy has never looked like more of a farce. Especially when you listen to the motivation behind some of those Brexit votes.
Now as someone who knows a few Brexit voters, I can say not everyone is a xenophobe, ignorant about the EU, or the voting process.
Some were the children of immigrants and even so wanted to vote out. Not because they hate foreigners, not because they thought their eggs would be better from British chickens, and not because they expected mass deportations.
Some did it because they saw no future in the EU and genuinely believed the move could be better for the country. And they had their right to exercise that belief through their vote.
Whether you like it or not, that’s what democracy entails.
However the reasons below are a pretty compelling argument for an IQ test before you get a vote:
You didn’t think your vote would count.
You got gypped out of five euros last time you went to Disneyland Paris.
You hate watching the Euro Championship.
We never fucking get any points in Eurovision.
You magically want to see the country restored to all white pre- war Britain before you kick the bucket.
You think we are now going to become like Alcatraz and no one will be able to get in or out.
You believe thousands of immigrants and migrant workers will be frog marched out of the country and you will be given a pile of cash.
The backlash of videos, memes, tweets and updates have been hilarious. If you don’t laugh you’re bound to cry. More so when some of the dumbest points being made are given so earnestly. Full of confidence. Completely devoid of any doubts.
As one smiling lass put it:
“Britain’s on the map now!”
Yes, my moronic compatriot. That’s what mattered. Visibility.
Over the last few few months I have been trying rewire the way I look at life and focus on the positives rather than my relationships and other failures.
It has been a mourning period for me in many ways. I have spent months putting to rest my expectations. Trying not to be angry about the plans that I had given up so easily, and the life I had chosen to leave behind.
It’s hard to move on. As terrible as you might feel in the place you’re in, you get used to the misery in a way. I’ve been as positive and active as I can, but it sneaks up on me.
My ‘ex-rages’ were a symptom of the fact I wasn’t over it yet. I could be in the middle of a perfectly nice evening, travelling, or out drinking with friends, and then a wave of anger would sweep over me. It was like Tourette’s. Anyone close enough would get a comprehensive list of grievances against him, and a demand for an answer to where the hell did he get off texting me to call me a ‘waste of his time.’
When I wasn’t raging, I was trying to just get on with life. Being as busy as possible. Remembering my life wasn’t defined by a man. Then I’d find myself in tears because this wasn’t how it was supposed to have worked out.
Between the bitching and crying my observant six year old nephew chipped in his two cents worth.
The infant was right. But how do you move past it?
Our break up had been quite abrupt. We hadn’t seen or really spoken to each other in weeks. The last act had been a death in the family.
There are certain expectations around death and how we should treat each other, and behave when someone passes away. It’s a time to be sympathetic, to come together to put your differences aside, and offer your support.
I had wanted to do all these things. But after endless fights, unresolved issues and his go-to-move of ignoring me for three days at a time I just couldn’t find it in me. People can kill your sympathy. Especially when they demand it of you constantly.So I left him to it. He had expected me to be there to support him, but after so much drama, I just didn’t have it in me anymore. I ended it the following week.
In true dramatic fashion I was told never to contact him again. ‘Cross the road and pretend I don’t know him’ style break up.
Relationships with people you love can end abruptly. I learned that young. My little brother passed away when I was five years old. From one day to the next someone I loved had disappeared from my life.
My parent’s generation are not great believers of discussing ‘adult’ topics with children. We never spoke about death. It was just something that was innate knowledge.
After my brother died, his pictures were put away. His clothes were given away. I didn’t get to go to a funeral, or a memorial. Three years of my life with another person just disappeared and I wasn’t to ask any questions, and didn’t get to say goodbye. We couldn’t say his name in the house, or speak openly about him for fear of upsetting my parents. It was something we got used to.
My parents were trying to protect us and themselves. They bottled up their feelings and were ‘strong’. But I could see you couldn’t stay strong that way. We suffered silently. The pain seemed to last forever.
Life carried on, but I felt like he was being ignored, despite him clearly being on everyone’s mind. The only remaining signs he had existed were the crying, or the look that clouded faces when his favourite song came on the radio.
I needed Day of the Dead when I was a child.
From October 31st to November 2nd in Mexico and other countries around the world, Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead is celebrated. The belief is that the spirits of the dead reunite with their families and loved ones. They honour them with offerings or ofrendas, and put together on an altar for the deceased. The altars are often illuminated with candles, decorated with cempazuhitl (marigold flowers), their favourite food, drinks, photos and memories. The family will celebrate together, often lighting candles, eating, drinking and sharing anecdotes. They reminisce and celebrate the lives of the deceased fondly.
Day of the Dead helped me to come to terms with ideas of death and loss and move forward in a healthy way. It gave me a chance to celebrate my brother’s life, and the lives of the people I loved who were no longer with me. I looked forward to the beautiful ofrendas and rites that took places. From scenes of the floating of candles on the Patzcuaro lake, to bringing food, drink and even Mariachis to the graves of loved ones so they could enjoy their favourite songs with family.
This year the British Museum put on an impressive exhibition. They had huge skeleton sculptures towering on either side of the entrance. As you entered there was an authentic Atlanchinolli dance troupe, performing a pre-hispanic Aztec dance ritual to remember the dead. There were also workshops where children could make their own marigold flowers to hang on a tree sculpture with their messages for their loved ones who had passed away. It was particularly child friendly. Helping them understand this concept and view on death. Something I think all children should be given the chance to do.
This weekend gave me time to reflect. I hadn’t been honest about how I was feeling. I was pushing myself to be over things. I hadn’t given myself the time to get over it, to feel sad about it, be angry or upset about it. Which is why it kept creeping up on me despite all my attempts to be happy and act like things were back to normal. They weren’t.
There is a reason why you have a mourning period. It helps you to come to terms with what happened and make your peace with it. You get to say your goodbyes and move on.