Thursday, 30 December 2010

Summing up...

This year seems to have been the longest year that I can bring to mind. Obviously it hasn't been longer than any other year - but perhaps the drastic changes that have swept me out of my skin have contributed to this feeling.

Many people say they will do it and do not; many people plan to do it and do not; so many people start, only to fall when presented with a hurdle of difficulty. I, personally, have been guilty of planning to completely change my life and not doing so through lack of belief in myself on a number of occasions.

But not this time.

No longer am I stuck in a job that I hate. I mean, I really hated it there at the best of times. No more do I have to sit in the rusty chair of regret and ask myself what I could have made of myself. No. Now I am answering that question for myself. It is time to find out what I can be.

So I gave up my job, a well paid job by my standards, in exchange for a life of student poverty. Despite my lack of qualifications at college level, I am now studying for a degree in Journalism at Staffordshire University.

Sticking with my policy of honesty in my blogs, I can honestly say that I have never ventured so far out of my comfort zone. I am living on my own with strangers, I am in a town that I have almost no knowledge of and so it is needless to say that I never know where I am or where I'm going!
I am writing essays, learning referencing styles and having to hand work in by deadlines. It's all just as scary as I thought it was going to be.
I could not be happier.

There have been times this year when I have contemplated giving up; I have been seconds away from throwing my pencil to the table and leaving the room during shorthand lessons. But I am anything but stupid. I know how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity and I am more than aware that thousands of students, with perfectly acceptable grades, failed to get their place at university this year.

I am not quitting.

Obviously getting my chance to study at such a high level is the highlight of my year and will probably add to my life-time highlight reel. But 2010 has been about so much more for me.

Throughout this year I have gained many friends, but a couple of people have decided they don't want to be associated with me anymore, people who I previously considered close friends. I cannot hide the fact that I was distraught at the prospect of losing them. But if something is going to happen, it will just happen.

I am a little raft floating along the big beautiful stream of friendship; at some point I was bound to shed some dead wood.

But months ago I made a statement that I stand by to this day; my door is always ajar. For anyone.

I will have been single for exactly one year on new year's eve. Since the age of seventeen I have never really spent such a period of time on my own. It has probably done me the world of good. I have had chance to reacquaint myself with certain friends, address my own insecurities and, most importantly, make the decision to go to university. It is not a choice I would have made wearing rose-tinted glasses.

So to the girl who left me one year ago: Thank you, I hope you are happy and whoever you find love with can give you everything that I could not.

To summarise this year; I am growing into a person that I am comfortable being.

And that is pretty amazing...

Friday, 24 December 2010

Banking and Gardening...

When is it OK to be in love?

Not a particularly orthodox question, but one I have found myself asking recently.

Is it OK to be in love with someone who will allow you to bend over backwards for them, to drop anything that you are doing to be with them at any time of any day knowing that they will never love you back and only to repay you with blatant exclusion when you need them?

Is it OK to be in love when it presents an inconvenience to someone else?
Should you bury your feelings just because someone else is uncomfortable with it, even if you are perfect for each other?

These are two scenarios which I have seen in my world.

You don't choose love - it chooses you. Sometimes these feelings appear as if by magic, almost as if Cupid himself had been up to his old tricks. If you are not responsible for these feelings in the first place how can you be wrong to posses them?

It may well be that you are not in emotional debt to the person that loves you and they most certainly are not a bank, however, make one withdrawal too many and a higher price could be paid. A friendship with the potential to be amazing could falter. Account closed and no notice given...

Bury your feelings and, like a seed buried in the ground, they will grow into the most beautiful orchid. Bury them deeper and only the strongest roots will grow. It would be wrong to even attempt to quell something so natural and wonderful when such flowers are blooming world-wide. But there are people who try.

This garden is not for them...

Thursday, 23 December 2010


Have you ever noticed how we live in a culture so flawed that nothing but our shortcomings are noticed? For example...If one person labels you a paedophile, then you are a paedophile; equally if just one tiny voice whispers that you are a failure, the echoes are heard far and wide. You are a failure.

Should one person appreciate anything that you have done, should one beacon of praise emerge from the masses and roar with amazement at your talent, then you have achieved nothing.

There is much I have done in my life that I am proud of; there are favours that I have done for people that many would shy away from because of the effort involved. I have defended people when nobody else would and I have battled against armies of doubters to turn my life around to the point where I am today.

Six years ago I was expelled from college for fighting; Four years ago I was convicted of criminal damage, for which I paid a hefty fine. On top of this I gave into anxiety, which in turn led to me becoming less and less reliable and, eventually, costing me some key friendships.

All of this is what will define me in the eyes of others for the rest of my life. It's almost irrelevant that, since then, I held down a full time job for four years, I helped people when they really needed me (not just wanted me there to make up the numbers)and, knowing full-well that I may not get another job in the foreseeable future, I gave up a job with a decent wage to go to university in an attempt to make something of myself.

For those of you who don't know me, there were so many people who told me I wasn't good enough to go to university. Certain friends told me not to bother, Universities told me that I wasn't intelligent enough to study with them, even my own mother told me that I didn't have the drive to get there.

To the doubters, the abandoners and the users I present the proverbial middle finger.

I know what defines me. I know exactly what has shaped me into the person I am today and what will continue to shape me; everything. It's just a shame that the rest of the world is too busy picking fault out of itself to realise.