Leading Women of Scotland Award!

Today I was at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh, for the EQUATE Scotland 10 year anniversary celebration of “I am a STEMINIST!”.

It’s an honour to have been invited along, and to also be chosen as one of the ‘Leading Women of Scotland in STEM’ by EQUATE. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
I was given a space in their fantastic book of Inspirational women – it’s always weird to see my face on paper!
They do such fantastic work in promoting gender equality in the STEM sector, and have helped many women up and down the country with their STEM careers!
Happy anniversary, EQUATE, and keep up the amazing work!!

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The Guest

“You’re late.”

“Woke up late, sorry.”

 

I sat down on my seat and looked up to see her leaning back into hers. I could tell from her expression that I was in for a yelling.

 

“Woke up late? You didn’t sleep at all, did you?”

“Sort of…”

“Seriously, I’m so tired of seeing you like this. Every day you grow thinner and thinner, your eyes are so deeply sunken into your head, they’re swollen from crying, red from rubbing… even your hair looks like a birds nest.”

 

There it was. Every time we met I would be bombarded with her negative observations of me. For a moment my mind drifted away…

 

“Are you even listening to me?”

“Oh, yes, I am.”

 

She sighed.

 

“Look, you and I both know that I know you better than anyone else, so I only say this out of concern. You’ve become pathetic.
Life knocked you down again and again and again, but it only happens because you fail to learn. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. You never listen.
You’re constantly left broken hearted because you trust too deeply, and everyone finds a way to walk all over you – how can you not get annoyed at that?”

“I do. I do get annoyed. I’m just too tired now to bother feeling anymore. I’m sick of the pain, so cut me some slack and leave me alone, will you.”

 

Her eyes opened wider for a moment as she noticed my rebellion. I had definitely struck a chord with her. Good.

 

“I don’t even feel sorry for you anymore, you know that? Sometimes I feel like I’m all you’ve got though, that’s why I stick around.”

“I don’t need you to stick around if all you do is hate on me.”

“I’m just trying to get you to see what you’ve become, that’s all. The whole event left you feeling like you’ll never be good enough… for anything!!!”

 

I squirmed in my seat at the mention of ‘the’ event, but tried to keep myself composed.
It had indeed left me broken. Shattered. It wasn’t the first time either. I had become used to the sound of my own soul breaking, so much so that I sometimes prayed to become deaf to it.

 

“What am I going to do with you? No matter what you try to do, how pretty you try to make yourself look, how hard you study, how kind you try to be, how stupidly trusting you are, you’re always going to end up in the same mess. Want to know how I know that? Because I know you better than anyone else.”

 

Here she goes again, with the whole ‘I know you better’ rubbish. No, she doesn’t… does she?

She straightened up, as though trying to calm herself down before addressing the ‘problem’ in front of her. It made me move in my seat to straighten out my spine too. Ok, I was ready for the next bout.

 

“I’m only saying this for your own good, but maybe you should just leave this place. Think about it. Nothing seems to be working out for you. You have no one to really understand you, your career is practically non-existent because of your degrading health, no one realllly cares about you, you’re not getting any younger either, I won’t even mention relationships… why are you still even here?”

 

I had become robotic and numb over the last few years, all thanks to a rollercoaster of events and problems, but those words did cut me deeply. The worst part? I almost agreed with a lot of it too, until, that is, I mentally slapped myself back into reality and glared back at her.

 

“I know I’m not perfect, I know I don’t have much, I know I’m horribly scarred and I know things keep getting worse, but I have no choice but to get on with the show.
I don’t expect to wake up to a vivacious life, but even if I’m numb, I’ll keep going… because I do have some things to live for.”

 

The door creaked open and we both looked over to see Mum poking her head around the door. “Come down and have some lunch, love, it’s getting cold. Also, who were you talking to?” She looked at me with her usual concerned gaze before disappearing once again behind my bedroom door.

 

I looked back into the mirror and to the uninvited guest who never seemed to have anything better to do than to remind me of my ever growing flaws.

 

“I guess we’ll have to pick this up later as usual then! Don’t forget, I know you better than anyone else!”

 

“Shut up.”

 

With that, I slammed my hand against the cold reflective surface of my dressing table mirror, and then lifted a lipstick to draw a smiling face upon my reflection.

 

Uninvited guests are always the worst kind, no?

 

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Two Year WP Anniversary!!

Today marks two years since I first started this blog – Wow… As cliché as it sounds, time really does fly!

May 2014 was my introduction to blogging, something which certain life events inspired me to do. To have one place where I could collate my thoughts, my poetry, my stories and use as a base for expressive outlet just seemed like the correct way to go when life was being stretched in numerous directions.

My posts were initially longer, deeper and more frequent, but as life took over once again I found less time to share that penny-worth thought! Yet, still being able to write from time to time managed to feed that craving just enough to quench my writer’s ‘fix’!

I’d like to thank everyone who has joined me on this journey, whether it was for a moment or for a leap, for accompanying me on this quest for growth and progression.

I hope to be blogging more often than I have, though realistically speaking I guess my true hope is that whenever I may get a chance to post, that it be a post of quality, depth and resonance.

Here’s to many more years!!

Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)

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I’d like to say a huge thank you to the City of Glasgow College (COGC) for asking me to be a representative and champion for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a speaker at their “Women and Girls in STEM” event. I had the honour of speaking to many young women and girls who were interested in what the STEM fields were about, and was able to give them a little insight of what it’s like, as a woman, to be in these fields.
I later joined the girls in some of the experiments available on the day, including the “make a rocket car” Bloodhound experiment!
As I mentioned in my talk, there is still such a strong underrepresentation of women in STEM and we don’t only ‘want’ more women in these fields, but ‘need’ them for so many reasons.


I later had some of the girls approach me to tell me that their perception of what STEM was had changed during that day, and that they were now hoping to pursue a future in these fields – as you could imagine, it was a very proud moment for this STEM mama bear!!
From meeting the other incredible speakers (Dr Peter Hughes from Primary Engineer, Talat Yaqoob of Equate Scotland and Susie Mitchell from Glasgow City of Science), to being able to deliver the message of how STEM isn’t always what we’re shown in the media and by stereotype (I.e. simply just lab coats, boiler suits and hardhats!) it was a very successful and insightful day for all!


Most of all, being able to watch the future generation of our women in STEM growing a passion for these topics was so rewarding!!
COGC, keep up the amazing work!

(Will hopefully upload a short video from the event soon!)

(Image from gatcrva)

An Interview on Metapunk

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Marcus Gilman for interviewing me for his Metapunk website! It was such a pleasure to talk to him (sorry I rambled on so much!) The interview can be found in the podcast near the bottom of the linked page!
(Warning: I rambled on for almost an hour, so it’s pretty long >< … Eeek! I talk wayyyy too fast *sigh* Glaswegians!)

 

Does anyone else find it hard to recognize their voice on a mic too!?

INTERVIEW FOUND HERE!

Another Small Step Forward?

Great British Write Off

Although rather surprised, I am happy to announce that one of my short stories has been chosen to be published in ‘The Great British Write Off – Immersed in Words’ book!!

The competition, The Great British Write Off, was held a little while ago and thousands of great authors, writers and poets from across the UK took part.
Basically, you submit a mini saga, short story or poem with a max word limit of 250 words.
Initially, I wasn’t going to enter (as I saw that many pro-authors were taking part, and I’m just an amateur) but just submitted an old piece I’d written which had literally taken me 10 minutes to write.

I recently returned from travelling, and was feeling really low about myself, but when I opened the letter on my bed I felt a little better!

My story, Olympus is Falling, will appear in the book, along with pieces by other writers, and will be published on 31st of October!
Kicking myself that I didn’t sit and write something better (the piece is one of my more childish ones), but I am happy that it was chosen.
What a fluke… heehee 🙂

“Olympus is Falling”  can be found here.