Monthly Archives: January 2017

An open letter to Mr Trump

Dear Mr Trump,

I have visited America quite a few times during my lifetime. I have worked there and met many wonderful American people from all different backgrounds. One of my closest friends is an American and she is one of the sweetest, kindest people I know.

America is a massive mixing pot of people from all different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicity. I remember eating Ethiopian food in Washington, Indian food in New York and traditional American food in Florida. Your America is a country that I wanted to visit again soon with my husband.

Yesterday I found out that I couldn’t visit America. Well, I could because I was lucky enough to be born in the UK. My husband on the other hand was born in Libya and, despite having a British passport, is now subject to a US ban because he has dual nationality.

When you first started campaigning, I was pretty worried at the things you were saying. There was another man who passed judgment on people because of their religion, sexual orientation or because they ‘didn’t fit in’. We all know how that ended. It is pretty ironic that you chose a day so close to a day in memory of the Holocaust to sign executive orders to ban Syrian refugees from the US and made it impossible for people with dual nationalities from 7 different countries to come to America for the next 90 days. Ironic may be the wrong word but I’m trying to keep this post PG rated.

There was a part of me though that thought you were saying things to be controversial, to show that anybody could be president and that people wanted a change from the Clinton administration. I didn’t actually believe you would do what you said you were going to do. After all, we have politicians in the UK too.

I also didn’t believe that you would be able to. How can one man hold so much power? Only a week after your ceremony I’m actually thinking that you will be able to do some of the things that you said you would. That scares me.

I understand immigration can be a hot topic. I understand people can get scared at the terrorist attacks in the world. I’m scared too. By all means, put into place checks to ensure that those who should get in (genuine refugees) can get in and increase security to make sure those who aren’t can’t enter. Your statement though isn’t just about a Muslim ban. It is specifically targeting countries and saying that anybody within those countries are potential terrorists. You’re saying my husband is a potential terrorist and is a risk to America. That makes me a little mad.

Let me tell you about my husband. He currently works 2 jobs. He has his own company exporting British goods to Libya. He paid over £11,000 in business tax in the last year alone. He gives to the homeless without thinking. He chose to live in the UK to be with me because he loves me despite the fact his entire family lives in Libya. He watched as the West intervened in the fight against Gadaffi and he watched as the West left the country as they started to work out how to rebuild a country. His sister spent a number of years living in America and they hope to return in the future.

You chose to disregard other Muslim countries in the ban like Saudi Arabia despite the fact that the majority of the 9/11 terrorists came from there or had strong links from there. Perhaps it is coincidence that Saudi does a lot of business with your corporations. After all, if it wasn’t coincidence, you would be saying that it’s okay to maintain links with a country that has terrorist links as long as they have the money and connections to profit America. And that would never happen right?

I’m mad that your actions have personally impacted me and my family. But we are okay. There are plenty of other countries that will welcome us and it’s only a holiday. I’m more mad that your actions have affected those who are fleeing from war and terror. A war that America has contributed to along with other countries. We should all have a responsibility to counter the actions of intervention.

The past few days have also demonstrated once again that there are a whole heap of people who are willing to stand up and speak out against your actions. This makes me feel proud of the country that I visited. Those people will keep America great.

Emotional overload

I’ve blogged before about the reasons for loving Twitter. The fact it’s around 24/7 with supportive folk when I might be reluctant to wake up some IRL friends, however caring and supportive they would still be if I did wake them up.

Today I read about someone I follow on Twitter who has developed terminal cancer. I don’t know them personally but they’re *that* Twitter person who posts amusing animal videos, makes jokes and is just generally a nice person. The post that they wrote announcing it was in a similar vein to their usual posts which made me both laugh and cry at the same time.

I sometimes wonder how I would cope if something like that happened to me. Although some of my friends would describe me as a ‘strong’ person, I sometimes wonder what that means. I think I’d probably be a mess, berating the world and those closest to me if something like that happened to me. I’m sure there would be some ‘why me’s’, ‘life is so unfair’ but I don’t think that means I’m not strong. It just means that I would be a bit upset at my lot.

I once remember having a bit of a rant. I’ve always considered myself to have coped pretty well with losing my mum but on occasion the self pitying does become quite overwhelming. I don’t think that’s a bad thing because isn’t it better to speak out about feelings rather than keep it in? Sometimes life is pretty shit, humanity is rubbish and things are not fair. Yes, there are bigger things happening in the world but sometimes, you’re entitled to share your feelings and not have someone go ‘ well there’s worse things in life’.

The point of this post? Never apologise to me about ranting about something. Never apologise for being strong enough to share your feelings about something that is a little bit shit. If you are in a pit, I’ll climb right down in there with you and I won’t just provide you with a ladder to get yourself out. I’ll just expect you to do the same for me.

Self awareness is hard!

The title of this blog post says it all really. Over the past few weeks I’ve been feeling quite…erratic I guess is the word. Although on the outside I portray relative calmness at work, inside my brain it has felt like a whirling washing machine. The result has been fluctuating mood swings at home, mainly at the expense of my poor husband.

My husband is the one person who can make me feel calm. I’m not saying he is the only one who is supportive as he’s not. I have a few close friends who I know support me and do so very well but he is the one who can turn the whirling spin circle and make it slow down.

I haven’t shared this time with friends because the mood changes haven’t been happening for that long. Already today I can feel the spin cycle slowing down which is partly why I feel able to write this blog post. Today I came home from work after a long day and whereas other long days have resulted in nervous energy which has made me feel very awake and unable to sleep, tonight I am already starting to feel calm and sleepy.

I guess I’ve somehow developed self awareness because a year ago, I wouldn’t have even identified the feeling. I would have brushed it to one side and moved on until it came to the point where I was unable to brush it off.

I’m trying to slow things down in my life which is really hard and I fluctuate between making immediate plans to being sensible and recognising that I need some time to myself, to help the washing machine to slow right down.