I lost actual memories because I dreaded being queer.

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Photo by Joe Ciciarelli on Unsplash

When I was 14, I met this girl. I fell for her hard and fast.

My love for her was intense, far more than anything I’d ever experienced before.

But she was a girl, and so was I. So, when it came down to it, I couldn’t go through with it. I couldn’t stand by her. I wasn’t ready to be queer.

I did the only thing I could — I forgot about her. And I mean that literally. I completely erased all traces of her from my memory.

No queers in small towns

This all happened years ago. Back then, I lived in a small town in the Czech Republic. Which, as you can imagine, wasn’t the place to be queer. …


All my classes are via Zoom and my telephone phobia doesn’t like it

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Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash

University started a few weeks ago, and it’s through Zoom. All my classes are held online, with the whole (video) call system replacing face-to-face lessons. And while this makes perfect sense in the light of the current situation, it can be difficult for someone like me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having Zoom lessons. I understand why this is the best way to protect ourselves and others. In fact, I am quite happy that many universities made the decision to do this. But still.

I have telephone phobia.

So, I’m not having fun.

What is telephone phobia?

Telephone phobia can be defined as “the irrational fear or discomfort with speaking over the phone”.It is believed to be connected to social anxiety. …


Remember you’re not the villain (but you’re not the victim either)

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

At the beginning of 2020, I’d never thought I’d be writing this — but here we are. This year has been unforgettable in many ways for us all. But putting all global events aside, 2020 has brought a lot of surprises to my personal life, too — one of the most painful being that I fell out with a friend.

A friend who, for the last 10 years of my life, I considered to be my closest person. She was someone I called my best friend, someone I relied on being in my life until the day I die. …


You don’t need to spend any money to achieve fluency

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Photo by Robo Wunderkind on Unsplash

There are many myths about learning a new language. A lot of them go something like this:

“You can’t learn a language without traveling to the country where they speak it.”

“You have to pay for a course led by a professional. You can’t do this on your own.”

“You need to buy all these expensive textbooks, otherwise you won’t have enough reliable learning resources.”

All of these snippets of advice have two things in common:

  1. They cost a lot of money.
  2. They truly are only myths.

I’ve been learning languages most of my life — since I was 8 years old, really. A lot of the time this has been in a school environment. I’ve done university courses, school classes, and language institute lessons. But I’ve also done a lot of learning by myself. Right now, I’m learning Norwegian, and I am doing so on my own. I’m not paying for or buying anything, either. …


Is your mum hot?

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Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash

Dating is a minefield. First dates especially can be nerve-racking. They can make or break your potential relationship, which is what makes them so stressful.

I’ve been on a couple of first dates in my life and while some turned out lovely, others were what I would call disastrous. Really, the range is from slightly amusing to downright creepy.

What I’ve learned over the years is that there are certain things that you shouldn’t do on a first date. Or shouldn’t say. I have decided to short-list some of these and use them both as light entertainment and a general warning for anyone who is thinking of taking someone out for the first time. …


Young queer love can be so (bitter)sweet.

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Photo by Amos Bar-Zeev on Unsplash

I was 10 years old when I first started having crushes. I felt the butterflies, had sudden fits of giggles, all of it. The whole package.

All my crushes were on boys. I liked boys, and I thought about them all the time. I was always so sure I was in love. Now I know I wasn’t. Truth be told, I have been in love very few times in my life.

But one of those times was when I met this girl.

I met her when I was 14. I was bookish and shy and quiet.

She was 16. Wiser, outgoing. Openly queer. …


Admit it, you fancy her for real.

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Photo by Abo Ngalonkulu on Unsplash

The girl crush culture has been a big part of my life. People talk about girl crushes all the time. It’s a cute way to express your admiration towards a fellow woman without involving your sexuality and sexual attraction.

Yes, it’s cute. But mainly when you’re straight. It’s not all that easy when you’re not.

When I was questioning my sexuality, I also started questioning my “girl crushes.” Were they really so innocent? Or did I fancy these women for real? Did I want to be them? Did I want to be their friend? Or was there something more to it? …


You should, and here’s why and how

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Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

I have had this discussion many times with my fellow writer friends. Should you explicitly state your character’s sexuality in your writing?

The default

When I talk about a character’s sexuality, I mean it in the case that the said character is LGBTQ+. It wouldn’t make much sense to have this conversation about straight characters. That is because, unfortunately, being straight is still seen as the default. If there is no mention of a character’s sexuality in a text, it will likely be assumed that the character is straight. …


How I stopped focusing on the bad and started looking out for the good

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Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

I was sitting in a café with my close friend, chatting about something fairly unimportant (a TV show, most likely). As we were sipping our drinks and talking, I felt this warmth spread in my chest. I looked at my friend and smiled.

That’s when it struck me: I treasure our friendship so, so much.

I’ve read so many articles on how to recognize a toxic friendship, an unhealthy relationship, a bad influence on your life. …


And how to get something out of it, anyway

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Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash

Medium is full of articles that promise you the secret recipe to achieving your dreams. All these productivity tips, mindset rules, and happiness guidelines. We all read them. Many of us even write them.

And while we write them with the best of intentions, the simple truth is that they won’t always work for everyone.

Why?

Because there is no such thing as universal advice.

We’re All Different

What we often seem to forget is that every person is unique. We work differently, we are motivated and fuelled by different things.

Remember the last time you saw a film you loved? You thought it was brilliant. A masterpiece. The best and funniest thing ever made. But did everyone around you share the same opinion? …

About

Veronika Jel

23 | UK | she/her | Socially inept writer, modern languages student and aspiring time traveller. https://linktr.ee/veronikajel

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