I remember being 12, when I couldn’t wait until my 13th birthday when I would actually become a teenager and embark on what I thought would be the most amazing adventure, full of new experiences and new people. Five years down the line, I can say that I have had many extraordinary experiences and had some incredible times like 12-year-old me expected, but without a doubt I’ve also had some pretty low points, which I certainly wasn’t expecting. I think being a teenager is one of the most difficult phases of our lives, with pressures from school, family, friends, future plans – not to mention the challenges we face as our bodies and identities change and we discover – or start to discover – who we truly are.
To be honest, there have been times more recently where I have contemplated ending it all, because I didn’t see how all of this struggle would be worth it or how the future could possibly offer me anything to look forward to. I’m not ashamed of it, nor am I ashamed of all the low points I’ve experienced in my life because I know that there are many teenagers out there who will have felt the same way as me at some point in their lives, and that’s okay, because we’re all in this together. I am not alone in this, and neither are you.
I think it’s important that we talk more openly about our feelings. After all, no one tells you life will be easy, so why should we stay quiet to keep up appearances, when chances are most people will know where you’re coming from?
So this is me, talking about how I’ve been feeling recently, because I know that being open about this will not only help me, but there’s the possibility that I could help someone else too. So if that someone is you, if you’ve ever contemplated if your life is really worth whatever difficulties you may be facing, then I want to tell you that it is.
There are hundreds and thousands and millions of people who have gone through what you’re going through and made it out the other side to live happy lives. That doesn’t mean your struggles are any less significant, it just means that you can do this, because you are just as strong and just as worthy of happiness as every one of them.
One thing that gets me through hard times, is remembering that everything I’m going through now will help me to become stronger in the future and make me a more compassionate person and remembering all the things I’ve gone through in the past – however big or small – that felt impossible or unbearable gives me faith that I can get through this, as can you.
Sometimes it can be difficult, even impossible, to imagine life could possibly get better and how you could possibly feel genuine happiness. When it seems like everyone around you has got their life together, and you’re just stuck in a downward spiral of negative thoughts, it will be hard, but oftentimes people’s lives don’t seem as “together” as they do from the outside so you are most definitely not alone.
Within your teenage years it can feel like your under too much pressure from all angles of your life for such a small period of your lifespan, and I’m not going to deny that because it’s true, but what I will tell you is that you’ll some out the other side with so many happy memories of all the incredible things you did and all the fun you had, and you’ll take away from the low points a greater understanding of what it is to be human, a greater compassion for others and a greater appreciation for all the little things in life that have the power to make you happy.
Basically, I’d like to tell you that your life is worth it, you are worth it. You all have amazing futures awaiting you and you have so much potential that you will achieve in one capacity or another. You will meet people who appreciate you and love you. And if it feels like some things in your life aren’t going the way you want, it’s never, ever because you don’t deserve it, or deserve to be happy, it’s because you deserve so much better than that, and it takes time for life to give you what you deserve. But I can tell you that it will be worth it all in the end.
I hope in some way this may have been helpful to you. If not, it has been helpful to me to be more open about my thoughts and this is something I will look back on in the future to remind me of a time when I felt like life was unbearable, but searched for a more optimistic outlook and struggled on through. If I can, I’d like to say that I’m proud of myself for writing this. It’s not the most coherent or logical pieces of writing, it’s just me trying to reach out and make a difference, because if there is anything that my recent mental health has taught me, it’s that I want to use my voice to show others that they’re not alone.
Last night before drifting off to sleep, I had the wonderful realisation of just how much blogging has become an essential part of my life. I’ve been blogging for over two years now, and it’s hard to imagine a time before I started blogging and before I met all you wonderful people. But, there was a time when I didn’t even know what a blog was – nor that such an amazing community of young bloggers existed. Before blogging, I was a very shy and reserved person and often didn’t talk to anyone about my feelings, and although I wasn’t particularly sad way back then when I was like 14/15??? (I can’t even remember haha), I have defnitely noticed changes in myself and aprreciate how much blogging has helped me to cope with sadder times in my life since then and has helped me to celebrate all the happy times too.
As blogging has just become ingrained in my life now, I feel like I do take it for granted sometimes that I have my own space on the internet where I can share my thoughts and interract with others – I just don’t take the time to sit back adn think about how wonderful this all is. Because really, the fact that such a huge, diverse, caring community of young bloggers exists is incredible. For whatever reason, we have all made the decision to sign up to WordPress and share snippets of our lives with strangers on the internet. Honestly, I think it’s amazing how I’ve met people through blogging that I would never ever have met without the help of the internet. I have met people who have become great friends, people who have taught me about other cultures and religions, people who have common interests to me, people who have been able to help me through situations that they have been through and vice versa – blogging has been such an enriching experience to me and I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has ever interracted with me on my blog or elsewhere and thank you for writing your blogs and helping me to learn more about the world.
Since blogging, I have become far more aware of other cultures and lifestyles, languages and beliefs and just generally more aware of the people who live on this wonderful planet. I’ve learnt things that I would never have learnt in education and I really feel like I’m much more of a globally-aware person now because of blogging. In addition to this, I’ve learnt loads about myself: I’ve learnt more about how I interract with other people thanks to the frinedly environment in which blogging has provided me to do this, I’ve discovered more about my own values and beliefs, I’ve found various new interests to become passionate about such as languages and politics and feminsim to name a few and most importantly I’ve disocvered more about who I am as a person and what my own identity is. The community I became part of when I first logged in to WordPress over two years ago has been so welcoming and accepting and without that – without you guys – I don’t think I would have come to terms with my own sexuality, or at least not for a few more years. Blogging has also helped me to discover what’s really important in life and see the bigger picture, instead of living in my own little bubble as I did before I started blogging – I know that whatever I’m going through, there are others going through it too and whatever dreams I want to achieve are possible as I have seen others achieve there dreams and the blogging community has never failed to provide a plethora of inspirational young people for me to look up to. I’ve learnt that compassion is one of the most important human qualities from the friends that have showed compassion towards me and I hope I have become more compassionate in other aspects of my life and aim to be even a fraction of the amazingly kind and caring people who have ade these past two years the best years of my life.
It really means so much to me to be part of a worldwide network of friends who support eachother as we all journey through our own lives and I feel so lucky to be part of this. When I started blogging, I had never communicated with strangers online and to be honest I didn’t even think that I would meet new people through blogging – I wanted just to have a space to share my thoughts and be creative – let alone make some of the best friends I’ve ever had.
So when it comes to thinking about how blogging has changed my life, there are more answers than I can count on my own hands. I’ve definitely become much more confident in myself, have become far more interested and aware of the world, I’ve done things I’d never thought I’d have the opportunity or confidence to and I’ve met extraordinary, inspirational people who I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise. I know this sort of sounds like the type of thing I might write beofre announcing I’m leaving WordPress to move on with my life because I’m NOT and I definitely don’t want to leave anytime soon! I just had a random feeling of love and appreciation for blogging that I wanted to share with you all.
So finally I’d just like to say thank you for making my experience of blogging so far so amazing and I hope I can continue to grow as a person and experience new things through blogging and meet many more young people like me and help others to experience just how wonderful blogging can be. 🙂
(Also I’ve sort of run out of adjectives to describe how much I love blogging and the blogging community so sorry for the repition of ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’ and ‘wonderful’ oops).
The amazing Thoughtful Tash created this tag so us bloggers cna spend a bit of time appreciating what we love about ouorselves. I think this is such a wonderful idea, becuase self-love is something we all need to do more of and actually sittig down and thinking about what I do love about myself instead of dwelling on my flaws has actually been really beneficial to me, and I’m sure it will help others too. So. thank you very much to tash for making this tag, and you can read her post introducing it here.
THE RULES (as stated in Tash’s post)
Post the award on your blog
Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
Leave a link to the original tag creator (ThoughtfulTash) to get a bit more info about WHY this tag has been made!
Write 10 things you love about YOURSELF and WHY
Nominate at least 5 other bloggers
In the comments of the blog post, spread more self-love with compliments to each other! THE MORE LOVE THE BETTER!
Why I love me:
1. My love of life
One thing I love about myslef is how much I love life, it’s the main thing that gets me through hard times becuase I know I’ve got my whole life ahead of me and it doesn’t matter if I’m struggling now because I will get through it and one day I can look back on what I’ve been through and be proud of reaching my goals and fulfilling my ambitions regardless. Also remembering and thinking of all the good times makes me realise how much I do love my life and how iwouldn’t have it any other way.
2. My passions
My passions are part of me and always will be, they are the one thing that stays the same as I grow and change as a person and I’m really glad to have these passions like blogging and photography and politics and reading etc that make me happy and make me who I am.
3. My creativity
I love the fact that although I haven’t chosen a creative educational path, I still keep up with the creative things that I’ve always loved like painting and sketching and that although I don’t want a creative career, I haven’t closed that part of my life off.
4. My optimism
Although I don’t regard myself to be a constantly optimistic person, I do have a lot of optimism for the future and that helps to motivate me to keep working hard to get where I want to be.
5. My personality
Most people would think of me as quite an introverted person, which is true, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a personality! I love the fact that I’m quite introverted actually, as it means less people get to know the real me and when they do it makes the friendship more special. I love the fact though that I can be myself around my family because we’re all a bit mad!
6. My way of thinking
Another thing I love is the way I think. I think we all have our own unique way of thinking about things and I find it fascinating the way we all percieve things differently. I love how I can read about something or see something and my brain will make all these millions of connections ot different things, or I’ll suddenly be inspired to do something. Although I don’t like overthinking so much, it’s still a part of me and I’m growing to love the fact that I only overthink because I care so much about other people.
7. My height
I’ve always felt a bit awkward being so tall – I think I’m currently about 5 ft 8″, which isn’t huge but I’m still very tall compared to most of my friends – but as I’ve got older I’ve grown to love my height becuase again it’s just a part of me that I can’t control and if I can’t change it, I’ve gotta embrace it.
8. My love for the world
I honestly find the world so fascinating and just want to constantly learn about the people that live around the world and all the different countries and EVERYTHING!!!! I’m so interested in how we all live in the same world but there is so much variation between different cultures and countries, and I love the fact that I’m not just invested in my own life and ‘world’ and want to know about others.
9. My music taste
This is a bit random??? But honestly I love my taste in music because it varies so much! I can go from listening to 80s music, to French electro, to pop, to rock, to indie – I’m just interested in so many different styles of music and I love it!
10. My drive to learn
I sort of mentioned this before, but I just really want to be learning all the time. SOmetimes doing homework or revision isn’t even tiring and monotonous because I want to do it so I can learn, and I love that I love learning as it definitely helps to motivate me to study and work hard.
So there’s the 10 things that I love about me. I’m going to nominate some bloggers below so they too can explore what they love about themselves. 🙂
^ Basically how I feel right now when it comes to think about the future 😂
But on a more serious note, I feel like I need to have a bit of a ramble about my indecision over what to do in the future and more specifically at uni. For a while now I’ve had my mind set on studying geography and history joint honours at university, because I enjoy both of these subjects so it seemed sensible to carry on with my academic journey down that route. So naturally I had been doing my research and had narrowed it down to five university that do that degree and we’re located in areas I’d be happy to live in, booked open days to go and visit them in the summer and was content with the fact that for once in my life I’d actually managed to make a decision. On Tuesday, the college took us to a UCAS convention at a local-ish uni (I say local but it took like an hour and a half to get there…in a coach that had a hornet/giant wasp thing buzzing around…FUN) where there were representatives from nearly 200 university from around the UK for us to talk to about the degrees they offered. As I’d already been researching universities beforehand, I knew (or thought I did) what degree I was interested in and knew what universities I was considering, so headed straight over to those and found out more info about their geography and history joint degrees, picked up a prospectus and various freebies and then went off with my friends whilst they looked at other unis and courses. I came back from the UCAS convention feeling quite happy with myself as I had had a good chat with some of the unis I was interested in and felt like my future was actually planned and in order.
However, due to the fact that some of the unis I’d previously picked out no longer offered geography and history, yesterday my dad said he wanted to sit down with me and research other unis that were perhaps a bit far away for me to have considered at first that did the degree I was interested in, but dads being dads, I started googling and researching waiting for him to come and help and he went off and did some gardening for ages so once I’d exhausted what I was originally researching, I started looking at other degrees just out of interest. Which was – hence this post – a fatal error. Or was it? I don’t even know 😂
Basically, I started questioning why I wanted to study history and geography in the first place, which isn’t an unusual thing to be asking myself because when I write my personal statement to apply to unis I’ll have to explain to the unis why I want to study that course. However when I thought about it, I realised I didn’t actually know why I had my mind set on studying that. I mean yes, I do enjoy geography and history and the overview and understanding of the world they give me, but am I really passionate about it? Is it something I’d want to work ridiculously hard for for the next three years? Do I even want a career to do with geography and history?
The truth is, I may be enthusiastic about geography and history – I’d defend their importance in the education system to the ends of the earth if I could, because I think it’s really important to have an understanding about the wider world and the past world which allowed us to be and live the way we do today, but having enthusiasm for a subject is different from being passionate about it. Passion is more of a feeling, a thrill and a thirst to learn more about that particular thing, and if I’m being honest with myself, I’m not really passionate about history or geography. I do work hard, I do extra work and background reading when I have time, but that’s just because my teachers advise me to do it. I’d work hard at anything, even if I hated it, I think before I’d been a bit oblivious to that because I just assumed because I worked so hard at those subjects, I must really really love them. But then I thought back to my GCSEs and realised that although I worked extremely hard for each subject, I didn’t like everything or enjoy everything – science didn’t interest me, neither did maths or English – so came to the realisation yesterday that it’s more the desire to do well that drives me to work hard at history and geography, not my passion for them.
So then I though, what’s the point of studying those subjects at university when I’m not really passionate about them? It would just be illogical, I mean I enjoy history and geography now but I don’t think studying them in intense detail would interest me at all, I think by the end of a levels I might have reached my limit with them. Also, although I’d had it set in my head that I wanted to study geography and history, I had absolutely no idea where that would lead me as a career or what I even wanted to do as a career. Hence I changed my mind. Again. For like the 50 billionth time.
The other subject I am studying at a level is French. Before yesterday, I’d never considered seriously studying French after college. I mean, I knew I didn’t want to gradually lose my French skills after college so I didn’t want to finish it completely, but was just going to carry it on in my spare time at uni or choose a language module if the course allowed it. Then yesterday, for some unknown reason, I randomly googled language degrees and found one called European Studies (or varients of depending on which uni it is) where you basically study one or two European languages, cultural and social ideas within that country as well as European politics and history and honestly, it was like a light bulb was switched on in my head.
If you didn’t know, last year I studied government and politics at school and it was unexpectedly thrilling. I loved learning about the way the government and the UK’s political system worked because it felt like I was learning something useful about the mysterious world of law-making and governance and political stuff, I almost carried on the subject at college but it wasn’t possible because of different exam boards so I would have had to retaken the year which would have been a bit pointless considering I did well in the exams. Since stopping politics, it’s still been in the back of my mind – I mean how couldn’t it have been with Brexit and Trump in the news every other day – but as with French, I hadn’t given it much serious thought, mainly because I didn’t know where it would lead me other than becoming a politician which wasn’t what I wanted. But then, the European Studies course just sounds so fascinating! We studied one module about the workings of the EU last year and it was my favourite by far, so I started thinking about maybe a career working for the EU – maybe as like a political advisor or the EU equivalent of the civil services (I’m not really sure if it would be possible now the UK is in the process of leaving the EU but who knows) be wise if there’s one thing I do feel strongly that I want to do with my life is to make a difference to the lives of others,so maybe this is the way to do it?
The more I’ve been contemplating this degree, the more I’ve realised that maybe French – or languages in general – is my passion. I mean, something must have made me decide to take French a level after 5 years of learning it (badly) in school with classes full of people who weren’t even interested in French and teachers who didn’t actually teach us properly,so maybe that was passion? Even now, I’m finding French hard and so so demanding, but still finding myself wanting to put in the effort and wanting to immerse myself in French culture by listening to French radio or watching French TV or reading French news, and I wouldn’t be doing that in my spare time if I didn’t love it would I?
When I think about it, I am very passionate about the importance of languages,especially in education as it’s a well-known fact us British people are reluctant language learners. But I strongly believe that if the way languages were taught and examined in schools was reformed, more young people would be encouraged to take languages, and this is a change I want to campaign for and make a difference towards. And because of this, I think it’s important for me to consider a language degree and not dismiss it on the grounds that I’m not confident enough or don’t have the ability because I have fought too hard for too long to get to even this competency in French which could barely be described as intermediate to give up. I want to keep fighting to become fluent in French and then help others to do the same in a far less stressful environment that students have to learn languages in today.
Although it may sound like I’ve got everything figured out now, I really don’t. Not many universities in the UK actually offer European Studies, and most of them are in Scotland which is miles and miles and miles from where I live. In addition to this, none of the universities I’ve already booked open days for under the pretence of doing geography and history at offer that course so I’m going to have cancel all my plans and start all over again. Finally I’m still yet to convince my parents – and myself – that I’m capable of making the right decision and that languages/politics is a viable career path for me. I mean don’t get me wrong my parents know I’m indecisive better than anyone – the only reason I’d managed to narrow the universities offering geography and history down to five was because they were the only ones within a reasonable distance (of which I mean about 150 miles) of home,and even then I couldn’t find a favourite but that wasn’t too much of an issue as I could figure that out once I’d visited them on their open days in the summer. So when I dropped the bombshell that I don’t want to study that anymore and wanted to change the course completely, they probably thought I’d gone mad. It took me long enough to decide to do geography and history – prior to that I wanted to do just history – so because I keep changing my mind, they probably think I don’t have a clue what I want and will get to uni and change my mind after a few weeks. And honestly, I’m struggling myself to trust myself to make the right decision. It’s hard, and I’m sure there are many other people my age going through the same thing. It’s drilled into us that what we decide to do at uni will set us in a particular path for life – as we progress few education, we gradually make our options narrower and narrower by going from studying 10 GCSEs, to 3 a levels, to one/two subjects at degree level – but that’s not the case, because many degrees lead to a wide variety of careers and sometimes you don’t even need a specific degree for a job, so really unless you do something very specific like ship building, then you should be fine. I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact that my choice for university degrees won’t ruin my future, or limit me too much, but I feel like the next week or so are going to be very hectic trying to persuade my parents and myself that European Studies is what I want to do.
Anyway, that was a bit of a long ramble so congratulations if you made it to the end. If you have any tips for choosing what to do at uni or are in the same situation as me, feel free to comment below. 🙂
A few weeks ago the wonderful Gracie from Gracie Chick’s Blog came up with the idea of writing haiku’s (short three-line poems, the first and third lines having 5 syllables and the second having 7) and using our blogs as a platform to spread the message – and our support – of anti-racism. As Gracue explains in her post about her campaign, words can be very influential and powerful tools and, if used in the right way, can make a positive difference to people’s lives. So I’d like to share a few haiku’s I have written with you and hope that you’ll join me in participating with Gracie’s campaign and taking a stand against racism. 🙂
Hey look up, you don’t have to be a ghost here amongst the living. You are flesh and blood, you deserve to be loved and you deserve what you are given.
A few lines from Third Eye by Florence + The Machine that I remind myself of everyone now again when I find myself feeling a bit worthless, as if I’m just existing but not living, not valued. If you ever feel like that too, remember that you’re alive and here and deserved to be loved and find happiness as much as everyone else on earth. 🙂
It feels like only yesterday I typed my first post on this blog – Adventures of a Lost Teen – but in actual fact, it’s been a year! The 1st blogiversary of this blog means that I’ve been blogging in total for nearly two years, as I started my previous blog back in March 2015 (so long ago eeek!)
Blogging for me is a lot like playing Scrabble (bear with, this analogy is going somewhere…I hope??). I try to fit letters and words together in the hope that they make sense. A lot of the time I have lots of ideas that I want to write and share, but can’t find the words to express them! Which also happens to me a lot during Scrabble – I never end up with the letters I need. But I think blogging (and Scrabble) has made me realise that we don’t always get what we need handed to us, and we have to make do with and appreciate what we’ve got. And I’m very grateful to have this space to share my thought and ramblings, even if it is sometimes frustrating that I can’t put my thoughts in coherent sentences.
I don’t know what I expected to get out of bloggng when I first clicked onto WordPress and typed my first blog post, so I can certainly say I’ve gained more than I could ever imagine from blogging – I’ve learnt so much more about the world through the diversity of the blogosphere, I’ve been welcomed into an amazing community and gained friends who mean the world to me, and I’ve also discovered more about myself through my writing.
So thank you all for supporting me in my blogging journey throughout the year and for welcoming me into the blogging community 😊💞