There is something undeniably alarming about a man in a suit commuting atop the one thing your 11 year old self prayed for on her Christmas list.
But I get it. I do. Scooters are fast, fun, compact and get you from point A to B without the storage or road danger hassles of cycling.
Unexpectedly…I wanted one, too.
Scouring each and every Micro Scooter available (my childhood fantasy), I even found a loophole to justify my inner child’s new intrigue: fitness.
It turns out that scooters also double up as incredibly portable gyms. My little Flex Deluxe in Matt Black can burn up to 160 calories in ten minutes, stabilize my core, build leg strength, and even act as a support for rolling yoga stretches.
Scootercise: for the adult who would rather sleep in, do single leg squats, and whiz around with Kendrick Lamar in my ear on the way to their first meeting than wake up an hour early and walk to literally nowhere on a treadmill.
The cherry on top? Every similarly judgemental adult I come across has the time of their life when I offer them a ride.
It is probably easiest to start with the latter. Moonlight, the multiple Oscar-winning underdog, introduced me to a character I understood like no other in my personal cinematic experience.
As a laughable “minority” – a once-poor bisexual white woman – Chiron (a character easily presumed to be nothing more than a flag-flyer for the Black Lives Matter movement) and I read incredibly different on paper.
But we’re not different. Not in any way that matters. We’re so similar it ripped the the carpet beneath my feet. Chiron and I share more than I would be willing to delve too far into; struggling through adolescence in Florida, living as the yin to the yang of a parent who – whilst overbearingly affectionate publicly – chose a life drug-addled catastrophes and lacquered every painful contact in guilty fear…and then some.
Chiron’s extraordinary story chose to forgo dangerous stereotypes. It explored the masks we wear like a game of Russian Roulette. It designed every single frame in a way that could penetrate the least empathic heart. It was perfect, poetic, and it changed me.
This very necessary piece of art reminded me just how connected we all are.
It even encouraged me to give up a few thing for Lent. For the first time in my entire life. I started looking into Christian Aid after bawling my way through the film (their all-encompassing goal is to end poverty, regardless of religion or nationality) and noticed they were doing a “Give It Up For Lent” campaign).
It seemed as good an excuse as any to channel my response into something good.
What I’m Giving Up For Lent
I’m giving up negative thoughts.
Fairly simple logic there. Negative thoughts are scientifically proven to be toxic and, though I consider myself an incredibly happy person, I very rarely allow myself the same positive critique that I give others. That changes now.
I’m giving up meat at home.
Read: climate change 101. It’s virtually impossible to give it up everywhere (as a food critic), but making a conscious choice to enjoy a primarily vegan diet at home will hopefully encourage others to do the same.
I’m giving up ‘almost’ doing things.
I often intend to do great things that fall to the wayside of work, “what is expected of me“, and general forgetfulness. No more. I am now a Yes Man for every positive impulse I have. Starting with raising money for Christian Aid.
It may be all fair and good to give up chocolate…but I want to start something I can continue to do well past April 13th.
If you feel like you would like to do the same, please do. And please click here to donate to my JustGiving page if you’re able to.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
– Steve Jobs
I have a confession to make. Though I been doing the “feminist as f*ck” thing for a number of years – all “Girl Power!”, “Love yourself!”, “Equality and kindness for women!” – I am very rarely kind to myself.
Do I believe I deserve as much as anyone else? Sure. Believe I’m a good person? Absolutely. Ever take time out for myself? Uh…no.
And it wasn’t until I went to the launch event of The Chapel‘s new incredible product range that I realized as such.
Rather than inviting 300 members of the press to take Snapchats of her new products and shove as many overpriced canapes as possible down our throats, Amanda (Dicker, The Chapel Founder) asked a handful of us ’round to her Islington Salon, fed us from fresh sharing platters on her own china, poured us her favourite tipples, and led an all-empowering feminist pow-wow.
The entire logic behind expanding her award-winning hair, beauty and lifestyle business was to encourage people to take the brand’s renowned “haven” status home with them. To reclaim time outside of the salon (the only place most of us allow ourselves “me time”) and put themselves first.
“Too often these days we mistake a hectic schedule for a full life, yet the time thattruly belongs to us is the moment when we pause…” – Amanda Dicker, Founder of The Chapel and all-round Wonderwoman
It was a much needed wake-up call for me. As our makeshift circle of trust shared personal stories, I related with patterns my own sacrifice, insecurity, and societal pressure. “Me Time” is long overdue. And The Chapel’s products are the perfect gateway drug.
The three products – candles, hand cream & pulse point fragrances – come in three fragrances; Oparus (Bergamot, Geranium, Sandalwood, etc), Mellifera (Apple, Tuberose, Vanilla, etc), and Noctula (my favourite – Mandarin, Violet, Patchouli, etc).
Though I fell in lust with all three scents I, naturally, went for the “hot red lips” (Noctula) scented candle as when you complete the 80 hour burn time you can use the exquisite ceramic candle holder as a home accessory.
That has “me” written all over it.