I loved, I lost, and I did turn out better for it.

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I have never been in love. I have loved and do love. Without judgment, without remorse. I do not find it tiring and I have never felt a limit. I am good at loving people unconditionally — it is one of my many unmarketable skills. But I have never been in love.

I subscribe to the Jeannette Winterson school of emotion: Love isn’t a commodity so it doesn’t have to be in short supply.

My friends are the only form of permanence I accept. As peers and allies, they are fundamentally associated in my mind with safety, happiness and fun…

Maybe they actually do make sense.

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Ah English; it’s a wild ride. So much of the language many of us confidently expect the whole world to speak is a tangled web of metaphors, sayings and almost impenetrable idioms. So impenetrable, in fact, that even most of its native speakers routinely get it wrong.

So come with me on my pedantic journey through the mistakes-that-we-most-certainly-don’t-make-ourselves-but-will-check-just-in-case; five common sayings that people often get wrong:

1. “The Proof is in the Pudding”

England did better than they have in 55 years, but that’s not enough to humanise black players.

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Racism is the spectre which has haunted England’s journey to the Euro 2020 final. It started with booing over Black Lives Matter and ended with racial abuse. That’s the story currently overshadowing our most successful major tournament bid in over half a century. After an extremely tense final, one which — with the sense of nihilistic inevitability to which we’ve all become accustomed over the last few years — went to penalties, England’s triumph was cut short. It was heart-breaking, if not unexpected. Both the great monolith of “the England team” and its beloved manager, have long and troubled histories…

An unironic love letter to the “raptor girl” from The Lost World.

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The year is 1997.

Pierce Brosnan is two films deep into Bond; Kate Winslet is on her way to becoming one of the most iconic actors of our time; and Robin Williams is effortlessly displaying his range with both Flubber and Good Will Hunting. The success of SpiceWorld: the Movie is forcing a little girl — who spends her days going at a small, religious school in a tiny village in the British countryside — to stare down the barrel of an uncertain, indefinite future of always being the Scary Spice. She is very much not a Scary Spice. It’s…

It’s hard to not share in something everyone assumes you have.

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Father’s day. It’s supposedly a simple day, one where we each take the time to be thankful for and celebrate the man in all of our lives who has loved and supported us throughout our lives. But it’s not so simple, is it? The truth is, a lot of us don’t have the sort of idealised relationship with our fathers. Some of us used to, but have lost it; some of us come from alternative family structures and some of us never had in the first place. The intense pressure to externally present the kind of picture-perfect, gender-normative, greeting card…

Now you’re just stressed AND exhausted.

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It’s 10 o’clock. Crunch time. What you do now will have a profound effect on how your day, your week, your month will turn out. You woke up this morning and solemnly promised yourself the same thing that you do every morning: tonight will be the night; tonight you will get an early night. You’re tired, but that’s not new. You’re always tired. Busy people are, aren’t they? Besides, there’s so much to do; so much to see. So tomorrow, definitely tomorrow, tomorrow is the day for the early night.

Sound familiar?

I first heard the term “revenge bedtime procrastination”…

Respecting your past to free your future.

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Unhappiness is insidious. It colours our perspective on everything. When we’re not happy with who we are or where we are in our lives, it’s easy to allow that feeling to seep into everything. We’re not satisfied in our jobs, love lives, fitness or any of the myriad of things for which society gives us unhelpful self-judgment benchmarks. That comes with a sense of insecurity. The very fact of discontent is the constant reminder that discontentment is a possibility in our lives; that it might last. …

Depravation is not the key to success.

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We have a romantic notion that true development is born out of torment. We think of tortured artists; the great toil it took to build the wonders of the world; the pain it takes to bring almost anything into the world. But in our everyday lives, this isn’t realistic. In fact, it’s one of the main things which gets in our way as people.

Sacrificing Joy

Something I hear a lot as a coach is the phrase: “I didn’t think that I deserved it.” I work with a large variety of people, each working towards improving something about their lives. Whether it’s…

Distancing ourselves from something which connects us

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I’m just going to come out and say it: I don’t love the word “ally”. Well, that’s not quite true. I’m troubled by it in its shiny new corporate context.

As an EDI consultant, it’s one that I use all the time — using “EDI” can itself be problematic, so I’m not positioning myself as above anyone else — but ally is a term that causes me particular discomfort.

In a time when it is (thankfully) seen as a good thing to be mindful of other people’s struggles, it has become something of a badge of honor to self-identify as…

They’re not just going to let you be who you are.

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My mother has always described going through life as a black woman as “playing the game on hard”. Although I’ve had many more privileges than she had, I can’t help but agree with this observation. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being surrounded by racists for my entire life. But, then again, so has everyone. That’s just how the world is. One of my earliest memories of my schooling is someone asking me why I was “that colour” (emphasis very much not added). Living as a normal person whom the world is seemingly trying to convince is not normal, has…

KLB Finch

KLB Finch is a Lawyer, Diversity Consultant, Coach & Writer from the UK. She’s constantly revising her opinions & sorting through her thoughts.

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