Category Archives: random

Our choices, not achievements

Things change, but more things stay the same. What changes is the circumstances. Changing circumstances make us look at the past, present, and future from a different perspective. This leads us to make different choices than we would otherwise make – and perhaps even surprise ourselves with the decisions we make.

In my opinion, what is more important on New Year’s Eve than laying out rigid plans for the next year is thoroughly understanding what happened in the previous year, and why.

This will be a cliché quote, but as Albus Dumbledore said, “it is our choices (…) that show who we really are, far more than our abilities” (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, page – certainly one of them). If he is right, it doesn’t matter how many languages you learnt to speak in 2018, how much more money you earn, and how many pounds you’ve lost; it matters what choices you made. And these choices do not necessarily have to be obvious and easily shown off to others.

You might have decided to care more about your friends, old and new; you might have chosen a career path that pays less but brings more good into the world. You might have been given an unexpected opportunity and given up something you had to go after that new, uncertain thing.

Whatever choice you make, it speaks of you as it reflects your values and priorities at a given moment, and shows changes that may be happening within your personality.

Things change, but more things stay the same. If you still live in the same place, go to the same school or university, or do the same job, if you still love coffee and Quality Street just as much as you loved them one year ago, you might be thinking that nothing has really changed.  But remember that all change is relative and not all changes take a year or less. Maybe you’ve dramatically changed over the last two years. No matter what the time bracket is, let New Year’s Eve be the time of reflection on your choices and values to start off 2019 on the right* foot.


*That is, whatever you find right at the very moment. “Right” is a relative word, too.



Home is dragging twenty kilograms of a suitcase up a narrow staircase
in the middle of the night, with mum hissing at me:
Shsh! Neighbours are long asleep.”

Home is farmers’ market open for me 6 days a week,
and the man from whom I always buy apples.
(He knows Rubins are my favourites).

Home is the irritating stink of smoke.
(And yet I still come back to it).

Home is walking down my empty street,
watching out for firecrackers and kids up to mischief.

Home is my favourite cup with a cow drawn on it,
and the cocoa I always drink from it.

Home is the concrete block of my old primary school,
and the benches that have never changed. 

Home is the church I have not gone to in years,
and the hay scattered in the model manger around Christmastime. 

Home is the stationary shop down the street where I buy pens and rubbers.
(I wonder how it’s still open). 

Home is meeting school friends for a coffee and wondering
if we’re in the right place, because meeting friends for a coffee
is such a grown-up thing.

Home is the bridge and the panorama in the middle of the night.

Home is stacks of books that had brought me up,
and feeling fourteen when I read them again.

Writing is for

I don’t believe in writing for the sake of writing. I don’t believe this makes any sense. Words were invented to get across ideas, not words. Stories and books are not solely for impressing people; words have the potential to impress, and they can do so on their own. But if you find yourself impressed by the wording but not moved to think, you could perhaps have found a better book.

Does anything matter?

You’re reading this because I’m probably just going through my phase of teenage rage, but only a bit late. I’m literally retarded, I know.
It’s better never than ever to go through this stage, but I am afraid it is unavoidable.

Four days ago breaking news in Poland was the government reshuffle. I was told about it by my friend with whom I made my first travel to school in England. After asking around friends for more information, I was convinced that the reshuffle is nothing more than an affair performed by the government to draw attention from some serious nasty stuff going on behind our backs.

Second thought that sprang to my mind (after: “oh crap, not again”) was: I need to write about this. Straight away, I messaged Jackie and told her what was going on.

Obviously, she asked me whether I’d write something for the website. I answered: “yeah, I’ll work on it this afternoon”.

A thought after a few hours, when I got home after running errands: “but will I?”

What is the point?
Didn’t I get away from Poland to avoid all this drama?

The answer: YES, I DID.


Two days later, I get the bus to my old English school. I walk around, talk to the teachers, say “hello” to a few students (because most of those who I was on ok-terms with had already left) and eventually make my way to the Journalism Club room. The walls are covered with laminated old issues.

A question from English teacher: “since you are here, do you want to do some volunteering for the Journalism Club? We’ve got some filing to do and need some writing prompts”.

I don’t blame her. At first, I was really enthusiastic about it and I wanted to do it. But once I sat down, put all the documents in correct files and turned on Word to brainstorm ideas, I thought that I really really really really hate it. But why?
It is so time-consuming. It is so absorbing. It really does take advantage of my perfectionist character.

I thought that maybe journalism is not a thing for me. Maybe I am good at it, if anything more than mediocre, but it seems to harm me too much.

Or maybe I am too vulnerable and have to get my shite together.

Who gets to decide?

Anyway, just like Tim said:
Does it matter?


I’ll be in Wales tomorrow. I’m leaving Scarborough tomorrow. So what?

Scarborough will not feel the lack of my presence   a t   a l l .