As of today I have been 19 for a whole 5 days. Scary, huh? Especially when you really didn’t think you’d make it to 15… 16… 17… 18… and especially the last year, 19.
Now, I am 19. And I wanted to reflect; to reflect on the future; to reflect on the past.
I very much intended to past a solid 2-3 posts this past week or so, but quite frankly, poor mental health, fatigue and other commitments have held me back from sticking to the (rather overly optimistic) schedule I prepared for this blog (particularly, for you guys).
Regardless, here I am.
I’m back, I’m blogging, I’m alive. I have had longer hiatuses and I’m sure, truly, it’s no big deal.
From 3rd November 2016 to the same date in 2017, a hell of a lot has happened. A hell of a lot.
My mental health has been a significant thing over the past year. The impact it has had on my life has been huge; One defining factor being the fact I did not complete my final year at sixth form or sit my a levels. I have also been medicated for mental health reasons. This actually occurred before I turned 18, but dosage has increased a lot throughout this year, and I have now been branded as ‘medication dependant’. Unfortunately now, it’s stopped working, so I’m in the process of medication adaptation along with the rest of my care plan. It’s also taken me time to realise that taking medication for mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Being medication dependant is not a bad thing, as my friend Izzy said ‘if it’s keeping me alive’. Mental health has given me an experience this year, and I currently feel as if i’m on an only-falling-into-the-pits-of-hell rollercoaster, but I do have some plans for the future:
- Staying alive and as well as possible
- Recovery. Recovery is my focus, recovery is important, I AM IMPORTANT.
- Getting back into education. When I am well enough, I’m planning to sign up for an access course. This will bridge the way into uni for me and get me enthused by learning again.
Physical health, too, has given me a fair dump this year. If you’ve read any past posts in which i’ve mentioned chronic illness, and are planning to follow my Spoonie Saturdays*series you will know my body’s not been treating me too well. I shan’t go on too much as I do have whole posts dedicated to my own issues and raising awareness for such, but since December 2016 (the beginning few months of my 18th year) I’ve had flare ups of chronic illness and many subsequent illnesses. I’m sitting writing this with a heart monitor on, after a long day of back to back appointments. Again, I want to work on recovery with that. So much is out of my hands but I vow to myself to bring up anything of relevance, not downplay pain, and realise that my disabled ass is deserving of help.
*Spoonie Saturdays will be about both physical and mental health. If you’d like to get involved, see the linked post.
I mentioned earlier that I dropped out of school and subsequently am not at uni. You may be thinking… what the hell is she doing with her life? Well, I am committed to the wonderful company that is Lush Cosmetics. I got promoted in the summer to ‘supervisor’ and chuffed doesn’t cover it. I have such a purpose now, being a supervisor, and get to work around 5 days a week for somewhere I’m immensely passionate about. I have aims for the future, too; I do hope some day i’ll be able to progress in the company and, I guess you could say really have an impact.
I’ve also noticed something recently. My long term goal (in the near or distant future) is to become an English teacher, and cheesy as it sounds, to make a difference. This is something the past year has almost pushed me away for (a bad relationship with education and toxic experience with a teacher has more of an impact on one than imaginable- especially not being neurotypical), but what has helped me? Books and writing, of course, but my role as supervisor. Having an impact (even on a smaller scale) on my colleagues, new or old, makes me feel great. Having a duty of care makes me realise how much I want/need that in the future, and heck, that i’d even be good at it, for sure. Lush is full of opportunities and whether internal or not, it is going to be so beneficial (and already is) to me personally.
Hit our store up on social media! Here:
I may get attacked for including this in a year review due to only actually practicing it for a month, but between turning 18 and 19, I also turned vegan! As you may know from way back, I have been trying to transition for a while (my only limitations being money and being warned against it for health reasons) and finally did in October. It has been a month since I went vegan and i’ve never felt better! I am so happy to know i’m impacting and caring for the environment and animals, and if i’m honest, the idea of cow’s milk now makes me feel sick to the stomach. Another great thing i’ve noticed about veganism is that i’ve had a better attitude towards food than i’ve had in years. People thought it may cause further restriction, but truly I feel so much better about what i’m putting in my beautiful bod!
There it is, my beautiful bod. Gotta add some body positivity in here.
Veganism has been great for this past month, and financially and medically, I really do hope it is sustainable as I can never imagine not being vegan, now.
Oh, the irony. I’m Coming Out just came on shuffle as I began writing this. I’m sure you know this, but I’m not straight. Hell no I’m not. I identify as pansexual, and it’s been two and a half years since I truly had my gay awakening (I would like to thank my best friend Kas for turning the rainbow on in my head). Although you’re probably thinking… ‘that’s not this year’, well, it is. I still have not been able to attend my first pride, but I, in myself am full of so much more pride. I tweeted and instagrammed about my sexuality a lot more, popped it in my bio even, shared a blog post with the declaration on facebook with my family! I guess you could say i’ve almost come out. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% true as of yet as, well, I haven’t, but my parents know. My mum saw it in my bio and keeps trying to slide comments in here and there (which I kindly ignore but would love to address soon) and my dad liked a clear declaratory tweet of mine and just… hasn’t mentioned it. Apart from talking about the LUFC LGBT Soc every 5 minutes and saying ‘I thought you might be interested’. Regardless of familial ties to my sexuality though, I’m a lot more accepting in myself. I’ve had a few wobbles and feared anything beyond a kiss up until recently due to past trauma, but I now am happy. I accept who I am. I am proud. I’m proud of who i’m with, too. I could shout it from the rooftops (and metaphorically do on twitter), and feel no shame in a goodbye kiss in the bus station despite the looks. My sexuality is valid, my relationship is valid, and i’m proud of my indentity.
Embracing my sexuality
Here she is. She’s cute. We cute.
This past year I also was able to speak out a lot too. I’ve been a member of momentum and the Labour Party for 2 years now but pre-general election went campaigning with the wonderful Rebecca Lury in RNP and West Harrow for Gareth Thomas. I like to believe my work with Gareth helped him stay in his seat, and despite Rebecca not gaining the Tory-stronghold, her vote was phenomenal! I was so proud of her (as someone who looks up to such a lovely human, and someone who went to her school) and can only hope for better things for her in the future. Alongside this I went on many-a-political march re: the rat haired wotsit and other horrible things in this world. I love to make a difference, or try, at least.
Speaking of out, as well as ‘coming out’ and ‘speaking out’, I also bridged the ‘moving out’. It’s not quite a uni-half-way-across-the-country situation, but i’ve lived in the same house with my mother since I was a child (despite a period of partially living elsewhere) and it became a very toxic environment for me. Heck, I spent a fair amount of time partially living with a friend this time last year and by may was sofa-hopping and seeking help from HYH (via school). It’s a lot to go into and not the sort of thing i’d like to talk about, but it caused me many-a-struggle ontop of many more and has made me a stronger person. It was a severe downsize, which was hard, and it is difficult to live where I do now, but it’s better; the company; the situation. I am looking to move again in the near future for the sake of my mental health but I am much happier where I am than I was at what once was my home.
I do think, as well, that (not trying to big myself up too much) I have drastically improved my blog in the last 12 months. Not even that, but 6. Regardless, I have put more work into this and am now a self-acclaimed blogger (without feeling guilt in calling myself a proper blogger) and have a schedule.I spent the end of this mentioned year sorting my first professional collaboration with a publishing company (watch this space)! I do, too, hope to arrange more collabs in the next year with both companies and other bloggers.
Mind, due to the above I can not always stick to it (as evident from the fact this was due up 4 days ago, at least) but I try much harder. I am committed and I love it. I have such a purpose and love all your feedback!
There are some smaller, but important goals I want to adhere by in the next year:
- To support more freelance artists!
- Support more disabled people in Bonfire campaigns
- Travel more
- Review more books
- Make somewhere mine and comfortable
- Get a little more organised
- Get back into stationery
- Watch more films
- Get back into anime
- Try to save up, even a little at a time.
This year has been quite a year and I don’t know if I can really put my finger on a word to describe it, but I only hope for a better 19th year.
How were you when you were 19? Or if you’re not yet, what do you plan to do by that milestone? Let me know!