Teens Tell Their Story: An Interview With Meg

Last week’s Teens Tell Their Story’s ‘topic’ was to interview a fellow blogger and I paired up with Meg from Marguerite. I really recommend you to go check out her blog; her writing is beautiful!

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging to put down my personal poems and essays, you know. To encapsulate my emotions somehow.

Do you want to publish your poems in the future?

Okay I’m going to steal a question from Caitlin haha: If you had to describe your country in as little words as possible, what would you say?
If describe the Philippines as hot and humid as hell. Also, colorful—like our culture and islands and the people. What about you, how’d you describe your country?

The Philippines sound amazing! I’d love to visit one day

Yes it is, the beaches here are amazing :-) and we have old cities back when we were colonized by the Spaniards. It’s pretty cool

How many poems have you roughly written?
I think I’ve written over 200 poems, most are in my head.

Oh that’s a lot! Would you like to make a living of poems one day?

What’s you favourite book?

My favourite book is a tie between the Catcher in the Rye and Peter Pan.

What’s your favourite book to movie adaptation?

Paper Towns! I like how the ending is different from the book, it gives more closure.

What’s the weirdest book you’ve read?

Somehow, this book called the cement garden was a bit weird (idk). But I ended up liking it. The story was weird yet well written :-) it’s by Ian McEwan.

Who is your favourite poet?

Right now, my favourite poet is Sappho.
What would you recommend to someone who’s new to poetry?
 Have you heard of Lang leav? Her poems are beautiful. And the poems berlinartparasites post on their page are nice too

I’ll look into those! How did you get into poetry?

 Hm, I really don’t know. I just started reading poetry aside from in school. Maybe because of the internet, you know, like on tumblr and poetry books in the book store haha.

Do you show other people your work? 

I show my work to my close friends. It’s sort of private irl. Some of my not so close friends see my work because I write it in my journal, and they flip through it lol
Lately I’ve performed two poems in class and I got a pretty good reaction though.

Oh that’s awesome! :) If you could meet any author dead/alive, who’d you want to meet?

 J. D. Salinger, the author of the Catcher in the Rye :-) I just want to have casual conversation with him over a cup of coffee. Haha

What would you ask/tell him?
 Haha, I’ll just listen to anything he says. Like he can rant about life and stuff. I’ll tell him how much I love his work :-)

That was the interview! It was fun talking to you Meg! I hope all your dreams come true; of poems and novels, of traveling through Europe… and maybe going back in time to have that cup of coffee with Salinger ;)

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Teens Tell Their Story: Inspiration

As a writer I find inspiration everywhere. From a picture of a flower to a wonderful quote on Tumblr or Pinterest. Films and books never fail to inspire me either, but I won’t dedicate this post to those things.

The biggest inspiration in my life is my mom. It’s hard for me to talk about this, but a few years ago my grandmother got awfully sick and my mother had to take care of her, and thus also my grandfather who’s a heart patient and who could no longer rely on my grandmother. On top of that my mom had me to take care of too of course, plus she was still recovering from all the stress in previous years. See before my grandmother got sick, things weren’t good at home either. I’m definitely not comfortable talking about that bit, as I’m afraid that certain people will find this blog and read it, and I’m afraid of their reaction. This may be silly, as I’m going to study journalism, where freedom of speech is very important, but this fear is not silly to me. It’s something that’s deep inside me that I wish I could get rid of, but I just can’t. Point is, my mom wasn’t entirely healthy when she had to take care of my grandmother. Yet she dropped everything to take care of everything. She went to the hospital with her for every appointment, where she saw awful things, also had to take my grandfather to the hospital for his appointments, had to make a lot of stressful calls, had to move my grandparents to a different home as my grandmother could no longer walk up the stairs and so much more that I don’t even have the slightest idea of.

And it’s not just that she had to take care of everything, it was also the fact that she had to see her mother getting weaker and weaker and just less like herself. I remember crying when I first saw my grandmother without her hair, but imagine seeing your mother like that, the woman who always put on a brave face for your sake and seemed like the strongest person you knew.

My mom got through all of that, and now, over two years since my grandmother passed away, she is still laughing and smiling for my sake, and that’s why my mom is my biggest inspiration, because the pain that I feel thinking of my grandmother, is the pain she feels yet an infinite time worse.

I have to stop now. I’m already surprised I wrote this much, but I definitely can’t continue writing about this. I just couldn’t write about anything else, because that felt disrespectful towards my mom, as she truly is my inspiration.

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TTTS: The Struggles of Being a Teen

The Teens Tell Their Story Project was created by Caitlin from A Little Daydreamer and Sherina from Sherina Speaks. Click on the links of their blogs for more information about the project. And to check out their wonderful blogs! 

I’ve started this post a few times now, all in different ways. Not because I don’t know what to talk about, but because there is so much to talk about.

You can’t just pick one thing and say: THIS. This is what we teenagers struggle the most with, because that’s not true. How many teenagers wake up every morning and think: ‘I don’t want to go to school’. Not because we’re lazy. Not because we’d rather stay at home and watch tv or read. But because it’s just too damn much. Every teacher expects you to have finished your homework, to have done the assigned reading, to have studied for that test, to have prepared a presentation. Of course there are teachers who understand that sometimes you just can’t, because you were too busy, because you were too tired, because you had other obligations, but in my experience these teachers are rare.  In my opinion a teacher’s job is not just to teach students their subject; it’s to teach us their subject, about life, to be there for students when they need them, to be understanding and caring. When I had been down with the flu two years ago and was absent for little over a week, my history teacher was actually relieved to see me back at school (my friends told me had asked about me a few times during class too). This actually brought tears to my eyes- I was used to teachers who didn’t believe I was actually sick. Who thought I was skipping and lying, who showed no compassion and just clearly didn’t give a damn. I’m not saying all my teachers were like this, not at all, but those teachers stuck with me and always will. One of them actually made me want to switch schools and made me cry my eyes out at school, because of the way she treated me, but in a way I’m grateful because I am who I am today because of people like her. She made me strong, though at that time I felt very weak and depressed. And I know she is not the only teacher in the world who’s like this. I know there are teenagers all over the world who have to deal with teachers and other authority figures just like her, and during this time where our bodies are changing, where we suddenly get periods and hormones and all that stuff, when we get actual responsibilities- we don’t need people like that in our lives. We often already have to deal with bullies our own age, we shouldn’t have to deal with bullying teachers, the people who are supposed to protect and help us in school.

And that’s another thing teenagers have to deal with: each other. Bullying at my old school wasn’t that present, thankfully, but it’s something most if not all teenagers deal with, whether it’s directly or not. Do we stand up for the bullied? Or do we stay in the background where it’s safe? And if we’re the one bullied, what do we do? For some reason victims of bullying think it’s shameful and they shouldn’t tell anyone, but if you’re reading this and you’re being bullied- please tell someone. You have no reason to be ashamed. Your bully has all the reasons. Also ignoring your bully is not going to solve anything, please believe me on this. I’m speaking from my own experience, so I know what I’m talking about.

So school can be really, really stressful. I don’t even have to explain that to my fellow teenagers. Bullies is another thing that we have to deal with, but something that really bothers me is that while we’re still kids – and adults remind us of that – we’re expected to act mature and make big decisions regarding our future. We have to do good in school, have a job, have a social life, hang out with our family, have hobbies and interests, dreams and aspirations. If we fail one test, people will be disappointed. Teachers will tell you ‘I didn’t expect this from you’. Well neither did I. If we’re sixteen and without a job, people will think of us as lazy, while not even thinking that maybe you don’t have a job because you want to focus on school. If you don’t have (much of) a social life you’re a recluse and there must be something wrong with you. If you don’t hang out enough with your family you’re selfish. If you don’t have hobbies and interests you’re boring. If you don’t have dreams and aspirations, you’re immature and need to get your life together. Sometimes it feels like teenagers just can’t do right. And this is just in general. Think of teenage girls. Think of those teenagers with a different sexuality besides hetero. Think of those non-white teenagers. Think of the teenagers that don’t just have to deal with school, bullies, responsibilities and adults looking down on them and treating them like kids or expecting them to be mature, but also have to deal with sexism, racism, homophobia and ignorance. Think of the teens whose parents are going through a divorce, who have lost one parent or both, who have lost other people close to them, who have loved ones going through depression or other mental illnesses and addiction. Who go through depression and/or deal with addiction themselves. Think of the teenagers who are still kids, but who are going through way too much.

We are still kids. A lot of us have to go through stuff adults wouldn’t even be able to handle, so please go easy on us. Please don’t be disappointed if we make a mistake. Please don’t look down on us. Please don’t treat us like we’re five, but also not like we’re thirty. Please treat us with respect. Please be there for us and help us. ‘Cause like you point out we’re young and new to this world while you’ve been around for a while, so help us.

– The Writing Hufflepuff