As another decade draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting back and seeing how my life has changed in that time frame. I was in my mid teens, and now I’m in my mid 20s, both of which are known for being unstable and uncertain. However, with the instability and uncertainty comes a sense of freedom and excitement. I didn’t see that until much later.
(In the ‘read more’ is a summary of the past decade with pictures)
Thankfully, through this decade, I’ve mostly been able to keep my support system in tact and found some semblance of stability again. How long it’ll last, I don’t know, but I do know that I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. I learnt how unpredictable life can be, so I’m not taking anything for granted anymore.
Bad: shattered a life long dream twice; destroyed illusions I had about my life, especially regarding my family; hit rock bottom twice, which was in part thanks to my own unrealistic expectations on what my life should be like; took a blow to my mental health
Good: kept in contact with my friends & family; made new friends I treasure; joined my a cappella group and the UK a cappella community; gone to therapy to cope with traumatic events and my anxiety; tried different jobs and figured out what I don’t want; kept writing no matter what
I’m ready for a new decade. A decade where I can take whatever time I need to become a more mature adult, including learning how to cook, how to drive, how to do taxes and what mortgages are, finding my own place and figuring out how to balance work with leisure. A decade where I will continue to keep in contact with my friends and family, and continue to make new friends. A decade where I can pick up new hobbies, educate myself on new topics, and keep writing no matter what.
I’ve let fear win for far too long. I want to go outside my comfort zone in this next decade, and try things regardless of whether I’m terrified or not. I want to enjoy life and not let my expectations get the better of me. I want to live as who I want to be, not who everyone else wants me to be.
Bring on 2020!
The year where life was pretty normal for me. I was doing my GCSEs, met up with friends regularly, and my dreams were still in tact. My dad got a new job, which would set in motion future problems, but how could we know that then?
The year where I successfully got my GCSEs, chose my subjects for A levels, continued to meet up with my friends regularly, attended my prom (where I felt like an actual princess), and had frequent picnics/BBQs in the park during exam leave/summer.
The year where I failed my A levels (scarred for a long ass time), my dreams were crushed, my granny was diagnosed with cancer, my granddad ended up in hospital, I found out my dad was cheating on my mum, I still had a good social life and we (my mum’s side of the family) went to Glasgow for my cousin Jacqui’s wedding.
The year where I found out dad was lying to mum about no longer seeing the woman he’d been cheating on her with, my parents got a divorce, my friends went off to university while I repeated the year, I didn’t have any friends except one in the year below, my English department told me I’d fail, and I only felt safe in my bed. But I did get to see One Direction live for the first time in very good seats, which is by far the best highlight of a year I’ve spent years getting over. It fucked me up badly.
The year where I successfully passed my A levels, went to Sorrento with mum and we climbed up Mount Vesuvius and went around Pompeii, got into my first choice university to study Creative Writing & Media, explored around London, and made some friends, one of whom I’m still close with now (thanks Will).
The year where I joined my a cappella group (busking sessions and a winter concert), went on more holidays with mum to foreign countries, completed my first year of university, volunteered in a British Heart Foundation shop for a summer, started my second year and generally had fun.
The year where my granny died, I continued to sing with my a cappella group (busking, a superhero themed summer concert and another winter concert I couldn’t go to) and started going to a cappella shows (ICCAs, Voice Festival), made more friends through university, hit a rough patch in the summer (needed a summer job, couldn’t get one), mourned mum selling our childhood home, saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and generally had fun.
The year where I actually graduated university (what?), dealt with mum and dad being in the same space again since the divorce, went for a road trip around Ireland with mum, moved out of my student accommodation into mum’s new place, hit rock bottom again as I tried to figure out what to do with my life now, started a digital marketing apprenticeship, and went to more a cappella shows and theatre shows.
The year where I went to therapy, multiple concerts, multiple theatre shows, multiple a cappella shows, to the Edinburgh Fringe, on holiday with three of my best friends for the first time, to upstate New York for a family reunion and then Niagara Falls and NYC, was made redundant at my job, found a replacement temp job and completed my apprenticeship.
The year where I tried to become a primary school teacher only for that dream to be crushed again, worked in a nursery for six months, watched my brother graduate university, went on holiday to Vancouver, went to more a cappella shows and theatre shows, learnt to stop obsessively taking photos and just experience life (which I’d highly recommend), and been unemployed for five months (and counting).