Schumacher: A Review

 


Tl;dr: if you’re not already a fan, don’t bother.

Or bother, but be prepared for some degree of boredom.

If you’ve watched the likes of Senna and Williams, you would have gone into this with high expectations. Michael Schumacher, seven-time world champion, indisputably one of the greatest F1 drivers there ever was and ever will be. A household name worldwide. You would be forgiven for expecting a gripping documentary full of passion and competitiveness, celebrating the life and career of a worldwide icon who has since suffered a horrific and devastating injury. If you know of Michael Schumacher but don’t know why you know of him, you would want the long-awaited title documentary to tell you exactly why he is known as one of the greatest.

Unfortunately, this just didn’t deliver.

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PSA: Social media is f*cking you up. Again.


A while ago (almost a year and a half ago, actually. I’m weeping at the passage of time as I write this), I wrote a post about social media and how it largely irks me, though I have yet to find a way to escape these shackles with which I am bound.

I’m happy to admit that my sentiments haven’t changed and I’m still a bitter old lady waving her cane around. I guess the youth I complain about also includes my own generation to an extent (though my smile lines and diminishing metabolism would like to disagree) because we pretty much still also shape what the future will be like.

Social media is a little different, though.

I think it’s always influenced by the youngest. I’m slowly withering away and there’s a reason I have no idea how to do Tik Tok dances; I still mourn the loss of “buffting” and I like thin eyebrows. The problem with the youngest ducklings, those spring chickens, is that they’re a group of conflicted people who don’t really know what they stand for – through no real fault of their own. Growing up in the age of social media means you’re constantly ingesting new information at rapid speed every day; you never had time to form your own opinions before thousands of others were thrust upon you (in Freudian terms, you kissed goodbye to the id at birth). Even before you made a Twitter account, the opinions you heard from others were shaped by recycled opinions they read online; there’s little authenticity in anything and validation is the goal. You melt at the touch of any sort of offence (see: snowflake), and simultaneously like to compensate for this fragility by going a thousand steps too far and making disgusting jokes under the guise of ‘I just have a dark sense of humour’. No, you don’t. You’re confused.

I’ve revisited my old post in celebration of Social Media day, and I’ve decided to give my two penneth again now that I’m a little older, not much wiser, and a bit less angry – but lockdowns forced me to spend an obscene amount of time online so I’m now obviously an expert in the field. 

Let’s discuss. Read more

Solitude – What’s the Big Deal?

To be alone, or to be lonely. There’s power in it… somewhere.


Happy Monday.

The phenomenon of the long weekend gives me a feeling of pure bliss… but once those few days are over, I realise it shouldn’t be normal to feel this much excitement at the thought of having a couple of days off work. So I end the weekend angry as hell. Slaving away shouldn’t be the norm –  I don’t want this to be my life, because living for the weekend is one of the things that reels my depression back in every time it feels like running away from me. Not so fast, we have work tomorrow! But, alas. I spent the Bank Holiday weekend on such a high, that being alone and back in reality right now just consists of me trying to pick up the pieces of myself after going splat on the floor. To be dropped from such a height is soul-shattering, and resuming normality is a long, painful process.

I’m one of the many people who has always loved my own company. The libraries, the lone cinema trips, the late nights with movies and a blank word document, the early morning sunrises with coffee shops and books. I’m always ecstatic at the prospect of having a few days to collect myself and bring myself back up to date with my life; maybe it’s the anxiety, but I need time to reconvene with my thoughts. I need to nurse my mind and cleanse my energy, to pluck off the remnants of the work-week and start brand new. ‘I’d get bored if I didn’t have work’ doesn’t apply to me, and I think you’re either attention-seeking, boring, or lacking in substance if you say such things. Probably all three. I have things to do, hobbies to engage in, plans to kickstart; so if you were to offer me three weeks off work, fully paid, I’m snapping it up without complaint because there is so much to be done. Everybody who complained about being bored on furlough deserves a kick in the face, I hate you all. I could check myself into a hotel for weeks on end and come out a much better person than I was before I went in. Either that or dead. Tomayto, tomahto.

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Clocks Go Forward


We all felt how violently that hour lurched forward, right? We all heard the big ‘fuck you and fuck your sleep’ in the sixty seconds between 00:59 and 02:00, right?

Daylight Savings, the horrible spoon of thick medicine we all needed, the forceful push into British Summertime as we had an hour thieved from us. The quintessential sign that summer is just around the corner, regardless of the fact that it’s horrible and grey outside, that we were plagued with torrential rain just the other day.

Today I woke up to the sun shining through my window, ate way too much brunch way too late, and sank into the sofa for an incredibly tense, nail-biting race. The first race of the 2021 Formula 1 season: the Bahrain GP. I saw Nikita Mazepin spin out on his first ever F1 lap, I watched Verstappen relentlessly fight like the charging bull he is, failing to snap first place back from the king himself, all whilst being gifted with little fiery battles between some of my favourite drivers. It was a great end to a horrible week, taking it from an almost-2 to a strong 9. There is a special place in my heart for Formula 1; I’ve always known I love the sport in the decade-plus that I’ve followed it, but I really sat there, after the first race of the season, and thought about how it feels like a void has been filled. Is that sad? It’s quite sad, isn’t it?

Credit: @MercedesAMGF1 on Twitter

No, it isn’t.

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Letter to my daughter


 

 

 

Daughter,

I don’t know if you’re going to exist, but I’ve grown a few maternal bones over the years. Whether you will be born from me or another woman, or even at all, I now often daydream about you. 

There was once a time I didn’t want any children. It was in my later teenage years when I first saw how horrible the world was, when depression grabbed hold of me, when I knew what it was like to be purposely misunderstood. I couldn’t bear the thought of bringing anybody else into these feelings of helplessness. Then I got older and wanted to kill myself. 

Children still weren’t a thought, but this time it was because every day that I lived was a day that wasn’t even meant to come, so I really took it one day at a time. I didn’t look further ahead because there was nothing there; I literally woke up thinking ‘nice, another day. Here we go again’. It’s only now that I can see a future in which I can almost see old-age. I have love to thank for that.

I realised that my mind and heart had sustained way too much for me to not pass on what I’d learnt. I had too much love to give, I had masses in reserve. Some for a lover. Some for his family. Some for friends… and some for those I will call my own. I learnt what love for a child was through learning what it wasn’t, and I suddenly felt that part of my purpose in life was to give it. It may be selfish of me to want you to exist simply so I can give you what I didn’t have. Is it bad to desperately want to give the good to someone else so that they never have to feel like they should just.. jump? Maybe. Everything I once thought I knew about family had been destroyed, and the concept of it no longer exists to me. I want you to love, not because you have to, but because you want to. It is my responsibility to teach you that.

Let me start by telling you the objective truth. Read more

Gratitude


This is a quick one on the importance of practising gratitude.

I’m not going to deny the fact that I’m a miserable bastard. I’m prone to feeling sorry for myself and believing life keeps throwing shit cards at me; every time I overcome one hurdle I’m already tripping over another. I know there are a lot of people who think like this. Those of us who have, unfortunately, been a little on the rapidly deteriorating side of mental health are very familiar with it. It’s helplessness, it’s pessimism (that we like to call realism because, let’s face it, we live in a shit world and things are more than likely going to go wrong more often than not – that’s just the way life is), it’s feeling oh-so tired of all the bullshit because when will it end? When will I get my walk in the park, when will I get my rainbows and butterflies? When will life slow down for me, when will I finally catch a break?

It feels like a storm and it’s never ending; sometimes I would have a fleeting burst of happiness and joy, and I’d clasp my hands around it in a desperate attempt to hold it close to me before it disappears forever, but it always flies away just as fast as it came. So I’ve learnt to not hold on; I let it come and go as it pleases. I don’t force it to remain, because the little happiness I do get I want to remain genuine, and I hope that it chooses to stay longer and longer. If I’m happy, I feel it. If I’m sad, I feel it. I don’t pretend it’s something else.

In amongst all the bullshit, though, there are ways to find something closer to happiness. Just like you can think your way into a bad mood, you can also think your way into a semi-good mood. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through gratitude. As a species, we are never happy with what we have and we’re always looking for more; consequently, we’re always dissatisfied. But stopping to really absorb the good that you do have does wonders.

No matter how low you feel, there are always things to be grateful for. I want to make it clear, however, I am never someone to say ‘you should be grateful because somebody else always has it worse.’ I don’t believe that, because all pain is subjective. When I talk about gratitude, about your own life, about finding things to be happy about, it is never ever in comparison to anybody else. Your life and your hardships have nothing to do with anybody else; there is no such thing as ‘be happy; someone else’s life is more shit than yours.’ Not only is that insulting to the other person, it does nothing to help you. Another person’s suffering does not negate your own. Not only do you still feel horrible, you now also feel guilty for feeling horrible. Yes, there are people starving to death, but that doesn’t make your pain any less valid, no matter what it’s about.

I digress. Let’s think of gratitude as a source of light in your life.

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