Sometimes, I feel so small. My parents and my older sister always tell me that I overthink too much; I don’t think (“isn’t it ironic?”) they understand me fully. My brain branches off on to so many thoughts at once that I’ll zone out in my lessons, mentally transporting to another place in my daydreams. I’m really good at it now—my visions are so clear. I sit in the many different classrooms, day by day, with no ambition or hope. I don’t know how to explain the heavy weight of knowing you’re hopeless and that you don’t have the same future as the privileged kids who get to go to private schools and who are never judged because of their culture or religion. On Monday, my business teacher saw my evil eye bracelet and told me that I had to take it off because jewelry is against the school dress code. I told her that I don’t wear it for fashion, it’s a cultural symbol that keeps me protected from negative energy. She quickly dropped her claims and said that she would check in with another teacher to see if I would be allowed to keep wearing it. I was dying to remind her that if tourists didn’t buy evil eye bracelets whilst on holiday because “they’re so cute,” maybe she would understand that it’s not for fashion, it’s for protection.

In my sociology lesson, we did work on police and ethnic minorities. The class was silent and the anticipation was so strong but nothing was happening. The white people were uncomfortable; the people of color were wide eyed, reevaluating all of the times when they thought no one noticed or cared about how their people have been treated. There was a point when a South Asian boy said that he thought the police judged people because of their skin color. Then the teacher asked for the people who agreed with his statement, to put their hand up. One black boy, and I raised our hands. And then the teacher said, “It’s sad that the only people who raised their hands are minorities.” I could see the sadness in her eyes, as a black, female teacher trying to explain to a room full of privileged kids, what ethnic minorities go through. One white girl said that the reason “Islamic” terror attacks are so publicized is because white people are doing nothing wrong, so their crimes aren’t in the news. I thought back to every time I had to explain my religion to a curious, white kid. Every time I saw how, when an “Islamic” terror attack happens, the whole Muslim faith is to blame but when a white guy does the same thing, it’s not considered a terror attack and he’s tested for mental illnesses. I knew some white people were unaware but this was a whole new level of oblivious. But hearing statements like hers wasn’t new to me, so instead of feeling angry or sad, I just felt numb.

I feel like a nervous wreck. My emotions are all over the place and I have this weird stomach rumbling problem, however it’s getting better (I thought my stomach rumbled because I was hungry, but it turns out that I’m overly anxious in quiet situations. I’m starting to relax after I realized that I don’t care if people hear my stomach rumble). However, I’m going to be taking mock GCSE exams for two weeks, and I’m feeling quite anxious. I hate test environments— the strong silence, and the faint scribbles of pens. I prefer loud situations, where I can blend into the background and I’m able to live in my thoughts and flow with my ideas on where I am in my life.

After watching Amélie, I heard a line that I knew I would continue to repeat to myself whilst I’m constantly placed in uncomfortable situations. A line that would get me through the dark, realistic days. A line that is so simple, yet helps me so much. “Times are hard for dreamers.” ♦