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Generation Snowflake

TW: sustained discussion of structural discrimination and injustice, mention and brief discussion of rape, mention of a statistic about sexual assault.

“Generation Snowflake, or Snowflake Generation, is a neologistic term used to characterize the young adults of the 2010s as being more prone to taking offense and having less psychological resilience than previous generations, or as being too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own.”

This is Google’s current definition of the so-called Generation Snowflake.

As a snowflake myself I’d like to shed some light on the situation for those of you (I’m looking at you Piers) who seem to be taking such extreme offence to us…taking offence…?

I know.

It sounds ridiculous when put like that but fear not, I’m here to finish what you’ve started. I’m going to break this down for you real simple.


Trigger warning: I will not be mollycoddling you through it.


“More prone to taking offence”

I would be interested to know how this could be proved.

A more accurate phrasing: “more prone to talking about offensive language and behaviour”.
Is this, in isolation, a bad thing
………a problem?
If you think no,
Condragulations. You are granted a pass to the next paragraph.
If you think yes,
Ask yourself…
Am I privileged………..?
Am I any of the following………?
White?……. Straight?…….. Male?……… Middle/Upper Class?….…Cis?……… Neurotypical?…….
If you tick some of those boxes you probably believe communication about offensive language behaviour is not necessary because…

-And careful now, this may hurt –
it is not centred around you.
Because you are less likely to be on the receiving end of this behaviour
Because the world is built for your comfort
And you having a problem with that after living your privileged life is…
Well, it comes across as a bit spoilt doesn’t it?

What I’m getting at is
W e h a v e m a r g i n a l i s e d g r o u p s e x i s t i n g i n o u r s o c i e t y
Our history means that we have prejudices entrenched in our behaviour and language that we may not be aware of.
W a n n a b e a w a r e o f i t ?
(Benefits include discontinuing centuries of oppression and discrimination towards the same minority groups,)
L e t ‘ s l i s t e n
Let’s not deliberately misconstrue valid inherited (or otherwise) trauma as “being more prone to taking offence”
Let’s not use this as an excuse to continue discrimination for our own comfort and privilege.

Feeling exposed?
I know, honest communication and vulnerability is hard work….



“Less psychological resilience than previous generations”
Definition time.
Resilience = “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”
Is the best way to recover from difficulties by doing it quickly?
Does a quick recovery mean a thorough one?
A healthy one?
A genuine one?

And toughness.
Where has toughness got us?
Well I hear toxic masculinity isn’t working out too well these days… dunno if you’ve heard this one.
I knowwwwww
Another crazy snowflake suggestion
That maybe men should be allowed to talk about their feelings and desires
Rather than acting on them.
Rather than nearly a third of women in the UK having experienced sexual assault before the age of 18.
Happier men
Happier women
Happier people
Feminism can work for e v e r y o n e?
Who knew???

Side note……….
Isn’t it quite hard to be psychologically resilient
the president of one of the most powerful countries in the world
(among other things)
the president of the other most powerful country in the world
(also among other things)
there’s no quick recovery from that, my friends.

And maybe
Just maybe
It’s not us who have a lack of psychological resilience
for not being able to sit and watch
years of discrimination against minority groups
But rather
these men
(because it is MOSTLY men)
in positions of power
who are so extremely
about the idea that they might just be part of the problem.
That they might have made mistakes
that they might need to hold themselves accountable
that the way to do this might be by confronting their privilege
that they might need to be
u n c o m f o r t a b l e
for a hot sec.

Is that not pretty low psychological resilience?



“Too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own.”

Again, I would rephrase,

“too emotionally scarred by the injustices and traumas they have already experienced before reaching adulthood to be able to argue with privileged people who refuse to listen to them SHARING THEIR EMOTIONAL VULNERABILITY for the GOOD OF THE PRIVILEGED PERSON’S LEARNING only to be INTERRUPTED.”

Turns out snowflakes can be

just in case there’s been some confusion
which I feel is only too possible here

We are
very much
and challenge each other’s views
you name it, we can challenge each other.
We are not some alien generation born without that skill.

you see
what you might not understand
is that we are
debating the things that you, and generations and generations and generations
before you
to confront.

And now

you have so kindly left the mess you created to us in your will

it’s not

it IS
much much much
than that

we are discussing years of
that has been side-lined

We are looking for a way forward that does not ignore the past.

It is not academic
It is deeply personal
We are discussing the very existence of each other

and it just so happens that being a snowflake
with all of its
and fragility
and sensitivity
and individuality
might be harder
than it has ever been
for you
to be

Toughness is the short cut.
it is the superficial
it is the easy way out
and yes, it is the quickest too

But the society we exist in is a product of years of this
and so
we know that this isn’t good enough

So next time you see a snowflake
How about
you thank GOD
that they are doing
that you left behind.

And after you’ve thanked them.
Try taking a step back

To appreciate the beauty
of millions of tiny, unique snowflakes
coming together
to build a beautiful bright landscape
despite their differences
works together
to nurture
the sensitivity
that has been missing for too long.


“Neologistic term” = new word, usage or expression.
It’s still new.
Do not misunderstand.
And especially,
do not deliberately misunderstand
for your own personal gain
because, as you have so accurately identified,
one of our valuable qualities as snowflakes
is our sensitivity.
We see right through you.
And it’s embarrassing to watch.

PS – thanks for the metaphor. I never would’ve thought of it.



Rape Crisis England and Wales (2017) Sexual Violence Statistics: key statistics about rape and sexual violence in England and Wales. [online] London: RCEW. Available from: [Accessed 14 June 2020]

Collins Dictionary (2016) Snowflake Generation definition. [online] Glasgow: Collins Dictionary. Available from: [Accessed 4 January 2019]

Oxford Languages (2020) Resilience definition. [online] California: Google. Available from: [Accessed 4 January 2019] (2020) Neologistical – definition of neologistical. [online] Available from: [Accessed 4 January 2019]

A really kind mirror

I’m thinking about love.


Falling out of love.

I’m thinking about what makes us fall in and out of love.

And I’m thinking

The people by whom I feel most loved in my life are the ones by whom I feel most understood.

They reflect back an image of me that I recognise, that I identify with, that I like.

Like a really kind mirror.

Sometimes they even see a part of me that I hadn’t yet been able to see, but which I also identify with and like.

They show me myself in a different light.

Each person I meet shows me myself in a different light, providing their unique reflection.

So that is how it feels, for me, to be loved.

And to love?

To love is to enable that in someone else.

To hold up a reflection of them that they recognise and enjoy.

To help them in revealing a little more of what is true for them.

To reveal in them the love they have for themselves.

So that through your love they come to enjoy themselves and their expression of life more and more.

So then,

I was trying to put my finger on what it is that feels so all-consumingly repulsive about falling out of love.

Why it is that we can feel such disgust, so strongly repelled all of a sudden by someone we thought we loved. 

And I wonder if it is because, on the contrary, the person is holding up an image of yourself that, no matter how hard you look, you just cannot recognise. It doesn’t match.

They may continue to love you but to you it doesn’t feel so. It feels that they love an image of you that they have wrongly deduced, or maybe that has expired but that, either way, isn’t you.

You can feel obliged to match, instead, this image, rather than the true one you hold of yourself.

It strikes me that although to be alone can be hard, although leaving someone can be hard, there is such solace in solitude. Because you will only ever have your own image of yourself to match up to.

Granted, even within ourselves it can sometimes get lost, or we can be mistaken. We can see in the mirror things that aren’t really there or we can spend time mistakenly hating parts of what we see that in actual fact we like, or vice-versa.

But deep down, somewhere, we all have an image of ourselves, an understanding of ourselves that is true. That we, instinctually, will remain true to, always. 

I believe that, at least.

And when I think about that I wonder to what extent our love for others blurs into that which we have for ourselves.

How much the words of advice, guidance, care and reassurance that we offer others are found and said, not only because it is what they need to hear but also because it is what we need to hear.

As if each word or action of love has an unintended echo that, as well as reaching the other person, bounces back towards us. 

Like one huge boomerang of love going round and round and round and round…

A message to myself for the New Year

May I remain curious to all that life throws at me.

May I remain open to the opportunities that come my way, 

But allow myself to close when it is wise to do so. 

May I have trust in myself, my choices and my abilities, 

And know that through this trust I will uncover more and more of what is true for me, 

Each day, a little more. 

May I be honest with myself and with others, 

But may I allow myself to be imperfect. 

Not just allow it, but celebrate it. 

May I remember in times of hardship that life and its feelings are ever-changing – that is the only constant – and whilst some things may never pass completely (nor should they), 

The perspective from which we relate to them will never be the same from one moment to the next. 

May I rest when I need to, 

And show gratitude to those who take care of me. 

May I find strength and spirit from my deepest fears, 

And may I endeavour always to keep learning. 

May I dance 

May I sing 

May I laugh 

May I cry

May I hug

May I fall 

May I stand up tall!

And may I return to this message when it’s all too much.

May I return to this message when I want to punish myself, 

And know simply that another sun will rise and another will too fall, 

And by that time I will feel – even if subtly so – different again. 

Island of Clarity

I was stuck. Stuck again. In one of my decision-making spirals of doom. You know the ones? Spending weeks agonising back and forth on a single decision that somewhere along the line you have decided is the single and crucial crossroad to all potential success and happiness in your life. If I get this wrong, I will be doomed forever. Of course it’s a ridiculous mindset but well, the mind is rather ridiculous if you ask me. After 10 days of this saga I didn’t even care what decision I made anymore, I just wanted to choose anything. I wanted some clarity, a sign or clue, anything to push me one way or the other – anything but sitting in this pointless middle-ground. 

I booked a session with my therapist and, thankfully, along with many other things that happened that day, it did provide the ultimate moment of clarity. One of those rare moments where I was able to hold all the complexities of my feelings, where I was able to put words to them to better understand them and where I was able to find meaning in the difficulties I’d been enduring. 

Ahh, what a relief. 

How wonderful…

But then…

Soon after the meeting I found myself scrambling back, trying to remember what we said, what was it precisely that made me feel better? Desperately trying to claw my way back to that most glorious place of clarity. But it was already gone. 

I remember listening to a favourite podcaster of mine speak about that once – how difficult it can be to let go of those moments of clarity, or to be in them with the knowledge that they will – at some point – disappear.

So, as much as I really want to explain to you all that we spoke of and all that it meant to me, I’m coming to learn that part of the process, part of maintaining faith, is trusting that those words and thoughts, though initially so grounding and comforting, can be as mystical and fleeting as the birds (bare with me…)

The first time you see a new bird is this most magical, entrancing experience. As if you have been frozen in time, frozen in profound connection, separate from everything apart from what you see in front of you. It is quite simply impossible to think about anything else but this new creature who you are meeting for the very first time. An utterly precious moment. You are consumed by its beauty – a beauty to which, before this moment, you were completely ignorant. And that’s it. You watch. You look. You really see it. If you’re lucky and it decides to stick around for a while, you may even have the opportunity to examine it in greater detail; the scales across its feathers, the colour of its eyes, its posture, its song. 

And then you go home. And you think back to it. Perhaps you decide to consult your bird book or look online to try and identify exactly what it was. And more often than not – even if you got a really good look at it, even though moments a go it was right there in front of you, clear as day, consuming all of your senses, your presence, your spirit – you may struggle to remember even its most pronounced features. You may struggle to remember for certain a single thing about it. And with every attempt at travelling back in time through your memory to access this moment, you reimagine a slightly different version of events, which takes you, frustratingly, further and further away from your original sighting. Or further and further away from a sense of confidence in what you saw. With every bird you look at in your book or online, trying to make a match, the memory becomes muddled and it fades and, yes, it can feel as if it is gone. It can feel that, although you know it happened, that you have forgotten any relevant details. 

And that feels a great loss. That feels a great shame. And it can be puzzling to understand how a moment that gave you so much life, a moment in which you felt so alive and so completely there can slip away so easily, without your noticing. 

But, in truth, it doesn’t matter. Because seeing it for the first time will undoubtedly make it easier to spot the second, and the second will make even easier the third and so on. The difficulty is that there’s no telling when that will be. There is only trusting in what you saw and moving forwards, remembering always that you will never see the bird you want to see if you’re looking too hard (trust me, I’ve tried it, a lot). You will meet again only when you are both ready, and often when you least expect it. 

And when you do, you will recognise it without a shadow of a doubt in your mind. You will land again on an island of clarity as you see it once more in plain sight. And with every sighting – however brief – you will become more and more likely to see it again, as you gently build a sense of familiarity around it. And with every sighting you will build a more lucid memory of it, something more concrete, that you can return to in your mind’s eye whenever you wish. You may eventually identify it, pinpointing its unique features for once and for all and putting a name, a description, words to it, building a scaffolding of understanding around the memory. Or it may remain a mystery. Something more vague – a vague sort of clarity – that you are not supposed to interrogate any further. That is enough as it is, that you can find contentment in, even if it remains inexplicable.

And so, with this rather unexpectedly long analogy, I let my thoughts and words, the memory of that conversation, go, albeit still a little reluctantly but safe in the knowledge that although I can’t exactly remember the name of the island I found, neither do I have the directions for how to return, I will no doubt stumble upon it again and when I do I will recognise it that bit easier for having visited before.

Dear Anxiety,

Dear Anxiety,

You have always been with me.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid of almost everything.
But only in the past year did you morph into something different,
A physical sensation;
A burning in the chest,
A wetness in the throat,
A stomach ache,
A weight,
Your only pacification would be the taste of my tears,
An exhausting cycle of suspense and release,
On repeat.
You have well and truly worn me down and I have felt angry at you.
Sometimes when you visit it is so clear that you bring with you no purpose, no rhyme or reason for your presence.
And yet you persist.
You persist and you persist.
And that is when I feel the most angry.
Because even though I know it is not really you,
It is just the sensation of you,

It doesn’t feel any less real.

But I didn’t come here to berate you – I’ve learnt slowly but surely that rage and anger only fuel your cold fire.
I came here to show gratitude.
With all your false alarms you have, too, saved me on countless occasions.
I have found the strength to leave unhappy relationships because of you,
You have protected me from dangerous situations and dangerous people,
And you have pushed me to do the things I really want to do but which lay outside my comfort zone.
Yes, it is easy to see you as a crippling presence – and that you are too –
But on the rare occasions where I have truly come face to face with you,
Eye to eye,
You have shown me that together we can experience a thrill like no other.
In the minute space between us, there is the possibility for this most terrible fear to be converted into this most glorious euphoria.
In these moments you teach me that in and beyond my deepest fears lies my truest power.
And strangely enough,
Though you have been known to play tricks on me in the past,
In this you have my full and complete trust,
And I, yours.
And for that I owe you everything,
And for that I can (just about) forgive the false alarms.
They are worth it for when the fire is truly burning, warm and bright.