An Open Letter to the Woman Who Raised Me

To celebrate my mum getting another year older I’ve decided to dedicate a little blog post to her. As the most important person in my life its only fair that she be applauded for the amazing woman she is, and its time I realised how lucky I am to have her as a mother.

I can say with complete confidence that my mum is my best friend, I understand that some teens might find this cringey but I’m proud of it, when I’m sad I phone my mum, when I’m unwell I phone my mum, when I’m homesick my mum comes to pick me up. Most of my best memories have been with my mum and so this post I dedicate to her as a cute little add-on for her birthday;

Dear Mum,

There are so many things I want to say to you, so many important things you haven’t been told often enough, like how beautiful you are, how strong you are and how inspiring you are, there are so many things I wish I could take care of for you, the mortgage, Alistair, myself (joking-ish!) and there is so much I want to thank you for, teaching me to love myself no matter what, teaching me how to be a loving and generous person and protecting me at all times.

I know we have been through some horrible times together but I’ve always known that I’d get through it because I’d have you looking after me and caring for me. When I was only 15 coming to you to tell you I thought I was depressed was so scary because I didn’t want to hurt you, but the first thing you did was hug me and promise me I’d get through it and I believed you (and I did). Although at times your nursing career can lower the levels of sympathy I get from you, whenever I’ve really needed you, you’ve always just known and been there for me and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Whenever I’m told to talk about inspiring women you are always the first to come to mind for me, you are a beautiful woman with such a warm and loving heart and although people have hurt you in the past you have never let that affect how you treat others in the future. You are also such an open person, you always taught me not to shy away from letting people in and I cannot respect you enough for that. Those who are in your care every day at your work have no idea how lucky they are because I have seen you come home heart broken because you lost a patient, because a patient got bad news and working late so you could always put your patient first, you are honestly the best nurse in the world and I am so proud you are my mother.

Our close relationship has always been so natural because it was always just us, when I was younger I didn’t feel the need to hide anything from you, and I always showed off how cool my mum was to my friends! But I can already see that Alistair is going to have a similar relationship with you because he simply adores you and I know exactly why; you have so much patience with him, you spoil him rotten and you’re about as mad as him.

I know for a fact that every inch of niceness in me or any good quality I have I gained from you, and honestly when I’m older if I’m half the woman you are I’ll be happy because you have achieved so much and been wholly underappreciated by everyone that its time someone showed you just how amazing you truly are. Thank you so much for being my best friend, thank you for being my guidance in life and most of all thank you for being my mum.

Hope you have a great birthday.

I love you so much, Sophie.

Justin Trudeau Who Is He And Why Is He Important?

I find Justin Trudeau’s career as Canadian Prime Minister extremely interesting already and we are only 4 months in. This is for many reasons, the history behind the man baffles me but even more so his family history intrigues me. On top of this his first actions as prime minister were not only astounding but also revolutionary, and for once those who deemed Canada irrelevant suddenly started to take note of the country and its politics. His words as prime minister have put other leaders to shame, quickly making him a favourite amongst left wing political fans. So how did this man become so popular amongst Canadians and the rest of the world so fast?

His younger life

Son of Pierre Trudeau the late Canadian Prime Minister, born on 25th of December 1971 in Ottawa, he was destined for a life in politics with American President Richard Nixon foreseeing his future in a toast whilst visiting the Canadian Prime Minister: “I’d like to toast to the future Prime Minister of Canada: To Justin Pierre Trudeau.”

Following his Bachelors in literature at McGill University in 1994 and his degree in education in 1998 he worked as a teacher until his father died in 2000. Following the eulogy he gave at his father’s funeral (showing him to be a wonderful public speaker), which was televised nationally, there was a huge outcry for him to move into politics however he graciously declined and instead took on a job in a youth service programme in Montreal. He first dipped his toe in the political pool when he chaired a Liberal Task Force on youth renewal in 2006, it would be the following year that he began his campaign and subsequently won the Montreal Papineau district in 2008.

His talents do not just end there though, alongside his political prowess he has proven himself able to act and box, as he starred as Talbot Papineau in the TV movie The Great War in 2007 and defeating Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing match in 2012. His charismatic personality could’ve been a reason that he became Liberal party leader in 2013. In 2015 he won office at 43 years old making him the second youngest Canadian Prime Minister.

However since 2015 we have fallen in love with him for so many reasons, all of which have broken the mould of world leader. I have eleven personal reasons for adoring him but I’m sure there are probably hundreds more reasons to love this majestic man.

He is Feminist

With many world leaders fearing the word ‘feminist’-including Britain- it has been deemed a dirty word for a head of state to call themselves this. Justin Trudeau, however, openly and repeatedly has called himself a feminist to the shock and delight of many. Trudeau himself does not seem to be able to understand this excitement and has insisted “I am going to keep saying loud and clear that I am a feminist until it is met with a shrug,” at the UN’s 60th session of the commission on the status of women. As a young woman and feminist myself this was an extraordinary thing to hear, he continued on to ask other world leaders to embrace a gender balanced cabinet as he did when he won office, this astounded me as women have been asking for this for decades. He is an extremely important person in the current fight for equality as these do not seem to have political motives but are simply common sense for Trudeau.

His Gender Balanced Cabinet

His cabinet appointments made sense, which might sound ridiculous but lets look at Britain as a comparison. The equality minister is a woman, great? No. She chose to vote AGAINST the equal marriage rights bill that allowed gay marriage across the UK. The energy and climate change minister has admitted questioning the existence of climate change… seriously. Now to look at Canada’s cabinet- the first Canadian in space- Marc Garneau is transport minister, pretty understandable really as he’s probably been on the most extreme transport man has created. The defence minister is Harjit Sajjan, a decorated lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces, having served in both Bosnia and Afghanistan. He appointed the first Muslim in cabinet, a man disabled in a drive-by shooting, two aboriginals and an immigrant from India- as well as boasting a 50/50 cabinet. It is this dedication to equality for all that has grabbed the attention of liberals across the world.

The Obama/Trudeau Bromance

This is my all time favourite bromance’s; Obama won the hearts of the world with his charming and charismatic personality however having two world leaders, who’s countries are right next to one another, who both won through their charm we all knew Trudeau’s first visit to the US would be memorable.

I honestly couldn’t put it into words now perfect this was so I felt the video would be better than me explaining. As the two joke around about beers, hockey and who’s country is better it highlights the reason both men won. With Obama having arguably one of the most successful presidencies, what does the future hold for Trudeau? I’m very excited to see.

His Treatment of Syrian Refugees

The picture of dead baby, Alan Kurdi, washing up on the beach that lead to worldwide uproar for a conflict resolution in Syria was felt strongly in Canada, as family of Alan lived there and had applied for refugee status to be granted which was held up by immigration in Canada. To add insult to injury Harper promised to take 10,00 refugees if he won another term while Trudeau’s target if he won was 25,000 and 10,000 before 2016. Trudeau has in fact met this goal already with the 25,000th refugee arriving on 28th February 2016 with headlines from 4th January 2016 claiming that he wouldn’t reach this goal. His love and compassion was evident when welcoming these refugees telling them this was their home now and even attempting some Arabic. In just five months he has made a mockery of Harper and the Canadian Conservative Party, so much so that he seems to have disappeared from Canadian politics recently.

He is Hilarious

Most politicians have a very serious demeanour and they enjoy this as they hope it will give the public opinion that they can deal with important political decisions. However, Trudeau started his campaign with humour with hilarious adverts that poked fun of him and were humorous to inspire votes.

On top of this he is not shy to situations that might make him look silly- famously taking part in traditional Indian dancing which he carried out perfectly- of course. He showed his humour during his visit to the United States as well.

He Adores his Wife 

Trudeau is married to Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau a Canadian television host and it is clear that they are incredibly in love, on their first date Trudeau told Sophie “I’m 31 years old, and I’ve been waiting for you for 31 years,” marrying only two years later. The two still do matching fancy dress at halloween, however seem unable to win their three adorable children round, it is clear that this is a strong and inspiring couple and I am excited to see more of them. o-JUSTIN-TRUDEAU-HALLOWEEN-facebook

He is a Geek 

As is obvious from the last picture, Trudeau is a huge geek, even attending ComicCon in Ottawa in 2015 in an adorable Superman shirt. His self-confessed geek-ism gives him a relatable, and awesome, edge with younger voters. Again, I don’t think this is actually a political movement, I genuinely believe he is a massive geek.

He Speaks French 

He speaks French. I mean, he looks like that AND speaks the language of love! What isn’t there to love? However he gushes regularly over how wonderfully his wife speaks Spanish!

He has Tattoos 

As someone with a few tattoos I am so sick of being told I will never be taken seriously- Trudeau has hopefully silenced some of those people as he has two tattoos and is prime minister- he is also not shy about them taking his top off without feeling embarrassed when showing them.

He is Open About His Drug Use 

With many politicians being annoyingly hypocritical about drug use (George Osborne) Trudeau is open about his past having admitted smoking marijuana and has actually called for the drug to be legalised in Canada. I myself have never touched drugs, never even smoked a cigarette, but I enjoy his honesty and the fact he refuses to be embarrassed by his past.

He Can Balance Babies 

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Yup. You just saw the Canadian Prime Minister balancing a baby, and if you don’t love him by now, I doubt I’ll ever win you over!

Justin Trudeau is an incredibly remarkable man, and he’s not even been in office a year. I am so excited to see what he does for Canada and the impact he makes on the rest of the world. What do you think about him and his ideas?

Best De-Stressing Techniques

With University exams looming I understand when people get stressed about these things. Most of my time in secondary school and first year of university was spent stressing about how well or how badly I would do in exams, this stress caused me not to do as well as I could’ve. This caused me to have to find ways to cope to stop having panic attacks in exam halls and endless nights of no sleep. Through this I have had to find ways to stop stressing so much, my ten ways of coping with stress are:

1-Preparation- this is key in life in general. Make sure you are prepared for whatever is stressing you out- whether it’s a job interview or exam- study for it! This may seem annoying and repetitive but it helped me a lot, not just for exam stress but in everyday situations, being prepared for things stops me feeling anxious.

2- Eat healthy- this sounds silly and possibly like something that your mum or gran would tell you, but taking time out to cook yourself a nice healthy meal really takes stress away. There are so many healthy Pinterest boards that offer really good and easy meals to cook during stressful times.

3- Sleep Well- as rational adults we all know this is the smart thing to do with something important coming up. Do we always do the smart thing though? No, not necessarily, so as someone who has had sleepless nights over exams I implore you to please try to set yourself a bedtime. Turn everything off, your phone, laptop and television these distractions will keep you up, without a doubt.

4-Relax- don’t forget to take down time to look after yourself, immerse yourself in a book, catch up on your favourite TV programme or watch a movie. Having a long shower or bath can also help you to escape the stress, although don’t do this too much, as that’s procrastinating.

5- Walk- go for a walk, it is scientifically proven that taking a walk can de-stress you and it has always worked for me, whether you taking your dog a walk or going with a friend or just walking alone it always helps a little- although only walk at times you will be safe! I know I probably sound like a mum again but its better safe than sorry!

6-Lists- I understand that this sort of comes under preparation- but making to do lists gives you a clear plan of action and lets you know what you need to get done. It is also a nice to see all of your to do lists being checked off as you get it done. This has helped me so much especially when I’m procrastinating but it really gets you in the mood to do something productive- or that’s the effect its had on me anyways.

7-Music- this will make me sound so odd but I love listening to Italian music when I’m studying- it helps me to not get confused and accidentally write what I’m listening to! Also listening to composers like Bach and Beethoven have helped me out of a stressful time as writing to the music means you end up writing pretty fast.

8-Yoga-don’t skip over this and roll your eyes cause ‘typical blogger,’ this isn’t sitting dog or standing tree; it is a simple muscle relaxation techniques. Start from the bottom up so your toes and feet; tighten all your muscles as much as you can and then relax them, do this three times then move to the next body part, it can be done sitting or standing and doesn’t force you to put yourself in weird and difficult positions.

9-Friends- this is something that is hard to get a good balance after five years of exams stress, I still have no idea how to do this as efficiently as I’d like, but here’s what I’ve got so far: your friends will always be there after exams, they may even have some of their own to concentrate on. They will no doubt understand if you are a little distracted or busy during exam times but I understand that no one wants to be left out or miss time with their friends, studying with friends is boring and you never get any work done, trust me! Do something fun with your friends but don’t make it a daily thing because this will stress you, as your deadline is due.

10- Laugh- this is very important, laughing is something that will de-stress you, watching a viral video or a comedy show can cause you to laugh loads and this laughter can totally relax and de-stress you. Watching silly cats doing funny things always de-stresses me, and it totally takes your mind off of your workload. Also watching a comedy show or just an easy watching programme- chat shows, silly programmes etc- can really bond you with family and take your mind off things.