I have dipped my toes into many different genres of literature since starting my blog and I’ve really tried to to focus on my ability to write decent poetry (albeit still trying) as well as short stories. However, there remains several areas of literature which I’ve yet to venture down, one of these being journalism. Journalism is something I’ve shyed away from a little bit as I felt like I didn’t really have anything intresting to say or anything that I was overly passionate about that I felt I would like to write about and want people to read.In a society so invested into the lives of others (nosey parkers!) it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find something captivating and meaningful to read and write about.
Recently I read a really cool article in the latest issue of Marie Claire (OK I admit I only bought it because it was on offer for £1.99 and I was going on a long bus ride.) The article was on a woman who began teaching young girls ballet from the streets of Brazil as a way of keeping them out of danger, turning to violence or prostitution. Reading her story about how she grew up in Brazil alongside how she expanded her teaching was really admirable and reminded me of how journalism can be exciting still despite much of it being diluted with trendy new diets and the intricate love lives of the rich and famous. In my eyes journalism is no longer relatable or about the lives of ‘real’ people. Sure it meets the needs of it’s target audience; the mum who just wants five minutes peace and quiet with her up of tea as her baby naps, the pensioners looking for cracking holiday deals or the man looking for this weeks show times on ITV1. Nonetheless, I think journalism needs to try to celebrate the ordinary rather than push for all of us to expect the extraordinary only to be left disappointed when out day-to-day life doesn’t parallel that of Brad and Angelina.
The vast majority of people you walk past in the street are teachers, doctors, sale assistants etc. They go to the co-op every Monday evening to do their food shop, they are always rushing to get the kids ready for school in the morning and consequently choose a black instant coffee over a sustainable breakfast. These people work 9-5 jobs, pay their bills, have good days and bad days, they cry and they laugh; they live beautifully ordinary lives. Daily life isn’t glamorous, some new adventure doesn’t come along all the time and most of us won’t change the lives of those outside our social circle and you know what? That is OK.
We need to celebrate the ‘ordinary’ and accept that leading a ‘normal’ life bombarded with highs and lows, exciting trips and hours glued to the office chair, money troubles, family arguments are all part of the equation. The over documentation of the lives of celebrities through social media (i’m looking at you Instagram!) have caused us to expect an abundance of adventure, travelling, out-of-this-world opportunities, all while we’re making our mark . Despite being all well and good (I’m not saying don’t strive to always better yourself and challenge your capabilities) but for the most part we only really impact the lives of those around us and cannot afford to do exotic things all the time amongst the chaos of working, having a family, making relationships work. Consequently, we’re left feeling incomplete, all too often questioning our0′ purpose’ and resenting that our lives thave turned out to be a lot more lack-luster than we wanted.
In reality the ordinary is blissful; it’s both amazing at times and utterly shoddy at others, it is exciting and exhausting, mostly intresting but occasionally dull. It is full of heartbreak and butterflies, rainy days and days where the sun shines so bright it’s blinding. Leading an ordinary life is under-rated and deserves more acknowledgement. it’s through this new series ‘THE SHADES OF YOU’ in which I intend to do just this; celebrate the lives of the ordinary people around us.
I want to talk to people from a variety of different ages, social groups, walks of life, people with different hopes and dreams who have tales of both success and disappointment. Despite all their differences all the individuals share one common interest; they all live wonderfully ordinary lives. For some a cup of these people a tea and five minutes to themselves is the best moment of their week meanwhile for some it is coming home to their dog or waking up to sunshine. Most have settled for a job they like rather than love because it allows them flexibility to have a social life and look after the kids whilst just about covering the bills and a little extra on the side here and there if they play their cards right.
THE SHADES OF YOU is all about getting to know the simple lives led by those around us, appreciating and loving the normality of them The footprint they leave behind may not be as large as those we read about in texts books or watch in documentaries but that does not make it any less vital. There are more than seven billion people on this planet right now and we’re all different and most of us are gloriously ordinary.