5 Things in My Purse at All Times [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - In my bag

Lipbalm & Lipgloss

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I hate dry lips and so I always keep some lipbalm and lipgloss in my bag. I love nivea’s lip care range and use several different ones regularly. The current lipglosses I’m using are from Collection 2000.

 

 

Notebook

IMG_1626I love having a notebook with me so I can write down anything I need to know, or remember. To do lists keep me sane and stop me from over stressing, and I keep a diary for noting down date specific. Notebooks are also great to have handy if you’re a writer or student; ideas for writing or assignments can come at any time and I often write things down at random times.

 

 

Book

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I should probably write an entry about coping/making life easier with chronic illnesses and pain. Keeping a book or my kindle in my bag at all times is just one way that I keep my mind off the pain. If I’m struggling on a journey or have to wait for a while I can get lost in a book and relax.

 

 

Water

IMG_1627I drink a LOT of water, and I always have water with me. It helps keep me hydrated (duh…), means I can take my medication when I need and helps if I get overexerted. I always have a drink nearby wherever I am.

 

Phone

IMG_1625Like my book/kindle, my phone is an excellent way for me to keep my mind off a crappy day. As I suffer from IBS I often use my phone to help keep me calm, and keep me busy so I don’t skin pick. I play games, or just check out twitter or facebook. I usually have headphones handy as well so if I’m in a situation that’s really noisy, such as a train ride or at uni when I’m trying to work, I can block it out. Also, I keep a phone on me for safety reasons. As a disabled girl with mobility issues it is too much of a risk not to have some way to get help if I fall and hurt myself.

 

 

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30 thoughts on 30

30 thoughts on 30

In less than 3 days now I turn the big 3-0, The last few months have been a crazy whirlwind of mysterious illness so I’m only just posting this now – 3 months after the fact. Turning 30 isn’t nearly as scary as people would make you believe. As my 20s have progressed I’ve grown into them, into adulthood and into myself. Now as I embark on my 3rd decade I feel a confidence that I honestly never thought I would feel. It isn’t the only thing that I’ve learned or that has changed in the last 30 years, so here are 30 thoughts on 30 – lessons, thoughts and anecdotes from my life.

 

1. I can do anything and be anything.

Yep, lets start with the biggest broadest statement out there. There are things I’ve done in the last 10 years that I could never have imagined myself doing. I’ve done things I’ve been told I couldn’t do, or shouldn’t be able to do. I can do anything and be anything I want to be if I put my mind to it.

2. Limitations.

My limitations have changed in the last 10 years, and while I feel like I can do anything, my health conditions mean that some things aren’t possible. I’ve had to learn to live with them and more importantly to accept them and how they have shaped my life.

3. Change.

Change happens. Well, duh, right? Yet there are so many people in the world who cannot handle change. I grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I think that helped my adolescent brain incorporate the big issue of dealing with change. In Buffy change happens constantly, and sometimes it feels like the end of the world, sometimes it IS the end of the world. Sometimes people die – or come back from the dead – and life goes on. Life always goes on.

4. Someone for everyone.

I am a nerd, always have been, so you can imagine how my dating was non-existent when I was a teenager. My heart got broken, ripped to shreds, stamped on and so forth and I often believed that I would grow up to be a crazy cat lady (ok, maybe I still did, but I’m not an alone single crazy cat lady…). I am fortunate to have found the one for me, the person that completes me and helped me heal the wounds others made. It sounds like a cliché, but I firmly believe there is someone for everyone in the world, that one person who will complete them. I know a lot of people who haven’t been as lucky, haven’t found that person or believe that they have so many problems or emotional baggage that it will never happen. It will. None of that makes a difference when you find that person because they will love you for who you are, every part of you including your faults.

5. Trust your instincts.

This is another cliché and one that I still fail at sometimes; if someone gives you the willies or gives you a bad feeling, trust your instincts. We are taught so often that if we have a problem with someone then the problem must be us. No, not always. Sometimes first impressions are correct and that person who seems like bad news, IS bad news. Just because everyone else loves them doesn’t mean they’re a good person, it just means they’re good at hiding their true colours.

6. Loving Faults

Love is about loving every part of someone, it isn’t about loving just a few parts of someone. Someone who truly accepts you will love you for your faults, they won’t turn it into a ritual of emotional abuse. You have the power in any relationship to speak up and say ‘please don’t do that, it makes me feel bad’ and if your partner laughs at you or argues with you – run. That is a part of emotional abuse and it is so easy to not even realise it is happening, especially if you suffer from depression or anxiety. Even if your partner doesn’t understand what is wrong their concern should be not harming you, not arguing their side of the story.

7. One day at a time.

Whether you suffer from the black dog of depression, chronic pain or are just going through a rough time, remember to take one day at a time. Nothing matters except for that moment, getting through it and moving on to the next. Take your time, relax, and ignore other people’s expectations. Do what you need to do. It isn’t selfish, it’s looking after yourself.

8. Take a chance.

Life is scary, people are even scarier and lets not start on relationships. It is very easy to just curl up in a ball and hide from the world, avoiding people and never taking a chance. Taking a chance is scary, but it can be amazing and life-changing (in a good way). The worst thing that can happen if you approach someone is that they say no. And if you don’t take that chance? You’ll always wonder, you’ll never know what could have been and you’ll be wasting time on something that isn’t worth it. Once you’ve taken that chance, for good or bad, you’ll know where you stand and that can be a very uplifting and freeing experience.

9. Good does exist.

It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the negativity and horrors of the world, or just by our own personal experience with others. I was bullied a lot from early childhood and even at one point as an adult, and it is very easy to just push people away after those negative experiences. It becomes difficult to trust in others, to offer yourself up to new people and not worry about being judged. Yet there are people out there who are different, who are loving, caring and supportive. It may take some time to wade through all the bad apples, but good people do exist and good things can happen to you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

10. Religion doesn’t necessarily mean good.

There is this assumption that everything good, that every good gesture must be the result of religion and a religious person. If something good happens and is posted on social media the amount of comments about “God” astounds me. I’ve met religious people who have not been the pillars of the community that they claim to be, and have been examples of the worst types of people around. In recent events religions, especially certain middle eastern religions, have been brought to our attention again. Religions are complex organisms, communities of people, not just a few. I was taught non-Christian religions at Primary School, I had a classmate who was Hindu and celebrated those holy days. To me it was just a part of life and that experience as a child stuck with me.

11. We all judge.

We all want to believe that we’re truly open minded, that we don’t look at something/someone and judge them instantly. The fact is that we do, we all judge. Sometimes we judge based on experience, sometimes we judge based on what we’ve been told. Is judging a natural behaviour? Can we unlearn it? Those are questions far bigger than this blog post, however, I will offer my opinion on it. For me, judging happens but it is how we react to it that defines whether it is a problem or not. Treating someone differently because of something you’ve judged about them is wrong; get to know them and then judge their actions. One definition of judge is “to infer, think, or hold as an opinion; conclude about or assess”. Nothing in there says it’s a mean action, it’s simply a way to think about something and make a conclusion. One thing I have noticed over the years is that people have very different responses to this, and someone you think you can trust or appears to be even more judgemental will quite happily throw you under the bus. 

12. People will always hate you for your successes.

It doesn’t matter what you do, why you do it; you could just be doing it to better yourself and your life – because you put the hard work in that they couldn’t or wouldn’t, that makes you a target for their anger and hate. You could be the nicest most humblest person on the planet and someone will still hate you for doing what they couldn’t/didn’t. Stop worrying about them and enjoy your life; you earned your successes!

13. Age doesn’t define us.

I grew up in a period where teenagers were viewed as hooligans. I distinctly remember one time I was sitting on a bus, minding my own business and some old man decided to pick on me. He looked straight at me and started ranting about young people not respecting their elders. My hypermobility syndrome had already been diagnosed by this point and I couldn’t give up my seat even if I wanted to. Yet he chose me, made me feel extremely guilty despite the multiple people on the bus who could have also given up their seat. That is just one example of the elders we’re told to respect. Now I’m 30 I know that being an adult is not really that much different from being a child. Age doesn’t define who we are, it doesn’t make us better people or due more respect.

14. Everyone should learn about internet safety and filters.

I’ve lost track of the many times the internet has been blamed for things. I’m honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone claimed it was the reason for global warming. I grew up in the early days of the internet, and navigated my own way through everything. Children today have so much more to deal with, and it is their parents/guardians responsibility to ensure they stay safe. It used to be the unwritten rule that you never used your full name online, now everyone does on social networks. If you’re an adult, fair enough, but it worries me how many kids do this without understanding the consequences. Not to mention how many kids and adults have no idea how to use filters to limit the amount they share to strangers.

 

15. Some idioms are correct, others are silly.

Experience has shown that some idioms are spot on, while others are pointless. People can put a lot of stock into these, especially ones like ‘a leopard never changes its spots’ or ‘blood is thicker than water’. Life is different for everyone, we all meet different people and experience life in our own way. Pick what works for you and ignore the others, don’t stress that you’re not normal just because an idiom doesn’t work for you.

16. If you don’t say something, who will?

There are so many ways now to complain, yet no one ever does. It has become a societal norm not to complain, not to be seen as being too serious or a whiner. If you complain to a business or organisation you can often feel like your concerns are being ignored rather than followed up. In more personal circumstances a complainer is often labelled as being unable to take a joke, causing a fuss and other negative issues. What scares me is that if we all give in to this social pressure bad behaviour will continue. If you don’t tell someone they’re being rude or hurtful, how will they ever know? Everyone has the right to complain, to tell another person they don’t want to hear that, or be treated that way.

17. There’s no such thing as normal.

Pretty simple really; the world is so obsessed with being normal. Wearing the right clothes, having the right hair cut or acting the right way. None of it matters because normality doesn’t exist. It’s a social concept that exists to alienate anyone who doesn’t fit into what people define as normal. And not being normal? It isn’t as scary or as bad as you might think. It can be quite liberating actually.

18. The school yard doesn’t end at school.

The older I get, the more dismayed I am to find so many of my fellow adults have not left school behind them. With age is supposed to come wisdom, or so they say. Many people just can’t let go the pettiness, the squabbles and more importantly the desire to one up their fellows in an imaginary league of coolness and elitism. All we can do is hope they eventually catch up to the rest of us and realise they don’t have the time or energy to devote to their childish antics any more.

19. Most people who teased you about your glasses are probably now wearing them too.

A few years back glasses became the cool thing to have with celebrities and fashionista’s wearing them even if they didn’t technically need them. Likewise, many people have grown older and their eyesight has deteriorated. Those that once laughed at your four eyes are now part of the same club. You could even say it was karma.

20. Everyone should have a pet.

Pets are awesome. They provide so much love and happiness (unless of course you’re allergic or phobic) and can help with stress, anxiety and depression. They love back, they need you and give you purpose in life when it feels like there isn’t one. Everyone should have a pet.

21. Everyone is human, perfect does not exist.

Perfect is one of those words in the dictionary I absolutely hate. I frequently tell my fiancé that he is as close to perfect as humanly possible. It is quite scary how much in our world revolves around the idea of looking perfect, acting perfect, having the perfect family and career. None of which actually exist. No one is perfect, and if you know someone who seems to be then recognise that they either have major issues they’re denying or are very talented at portraying a façade.

22. Everyone is different, especially those with the same illness.

On the one hand we’re taught to value our uniqueness, with various religious believes underpinning this ideal. Yet people constantly treat others as if they are the same people with the exact same feelings and experiences. Worst of all is when someone suffers from the same illness as another. I had one physio tell me that all my issues were down to my weight, and as someone who had the same health condition, she knew this was so. I promptly walked out of the appointment. She didn’t care that my weight had increased as my pain got worse, or that I used to be tiny. She just assumed it was because of the weight that I was unhealthy.

23. Illness is not a competition.

Not only have I found disabled people/invisible illness sufferers comparing symptoms, I’ve also had people tell me how difficult their life is in comparison to mine. Any illness sucks. It doesn’t matter what it is, how long you’ve had it, or how much it impacts your life. If you’re ill, you are ill. Mental or physical, something is NOT working right in your body. Those people deserve your love and support, not your frequent attempts to compete with them.

24. Nothing ever goes the way you plan.

I’ve given up making long term or detailed plans, especially with my multiple illnesses. Even without them I doubt anything would go as planned. It’s the nature of life and chaos. Learning to roll with the changes isn’t easy but also a necessity. Give it ago on a small scale and slowly build upwards.

25. Gender equality doesn’t exist.

Gender equality and especially the pay gap between genders has been in the news throughout 2015. Many people claim that gender inequality doesn’t exist, that women can work and vote and that’s enough. As a young woman I distinctly disagree. I get stared at by men, not because I look amazing because I really don’t, but because I have breasts. They do it without shame, and when you stare back most just keep staring. A few may look away guiltily when they’re caught. If workmen come to the house to fix something I can guarantee they will be male and will treat me like an air-headed house wife. If I go to a video games store the male staff will talk directly to my fiancé, or talk down to me. Hell, I’ve even had female staff do it to me. These are just a handful of circumstances.

26. People from the past know the past you.

This didn’t really come to me until very recently when I saw a similar statement on one of those words of wisdom things shared on facebook. I have always been very concerned with the past, with what people think of me and what I had done. While I knew I had changed and overcome past issues, I found it difficult to let go what others thought of me. But that is just it; they don’t know me now. They knew me then, in difficult circumstances and a different stage of my health.

27. Real friends will stick with you through everything – and I mean everything.

It infuriates me when I hear people speak of being badly treated by those who are supposed to be their friends. The fact is that real friends will do exactly what that idiom says; they’ll help you bury the body. I’ve dealt with a lot of teenage angst and mental health issues so I’ve not always been the best friend ever. That means I value those who have stuck with me beyond measure.

28. Harm ye none and do as ye will.

As a Pagan I follow the Wiccan Rede, but this line has always been something I think everyone should follow. Do what you want, live life the way you want to – but don’t harm anyone else while you do it. If you live your life that way then you’re not wrong or abnormal. No matter what society or religion says.

29. Try things for yourself.

While I listen to recommendations, I believe in trying things for myself. I frequently find myself loving movies or books that are slated by others. This goes for other experiences in life; try it, don’t just listen to that friend or relative who tells you it’s a bad idea just because they heard so from a friend. Everyone’s different, remember, so what suits someone else might be perfect for you.

30. Be yourself.

And the final lesson of my 30 years; be yourself. It is very difficult to do, especially with so much pressure from society to conform and act like everyone else. Maybe that works for some people, but others were born quirky with imaginations that need to be unleashed.

Invisible Awareness Week

Invisible Illness Awareness Week

It’s INVISIBLE ILLNESS AWARENESS WEEK!

As many of you know this is something very dear to me and very important to me, so any oppertunity to promote or educate people about invisible illnesses I will do so. So please take the time to read through it all and feel free to ask questions – however, this is my life and I do have to live with it so keep your criticism to yourself please.

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness(es) I live with is: hypermobility syndrome (primarily knees, wrists, hands, neck, hips, shoulders), irritable bowel syndrome, rhinitis, migraines, asthma, depression/anxiety.

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: Multiple years starting with asthma when I was 11, hypermobility when I was about 14 and the most recent was rhinitis about 2 years ago.

3. But I had symptoms since: Since birth? Hypermobility is genetic so I’ve always had it even if it didn’t show itself until I was in my teens. My asthma symptoms were all through childhood but it was only when my archaic childhood doctor left and I got a new GP that the possibility of asthma was even considered.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Learning my limitations and living with them. It’s really easy to say ‘well of course you have limitations, you’re disabled!’ but the fact is it isn’t always easy to come to terms with it, especially if your illness progressed and worsens over time – or you have a condition which isn’t easily treated, therefore you suffer for a long time before someone finally is able to help you. I don’t have to just deal with one of my conditions, I have to deal with them all interacting which means I can’t just do things impulsively, I have to plan where I’m going, how and when and when I get there I need to scout out things like rest areas, lifts and toliets.

5. Most people assume:  That I am a slacker, that I’m making stuff up or could ‘do more’ to work through ‘my issues’. People don’t understand chronic pain or depression until they’ve had it themselves.

6. The hardest part about mornings is: getting my body to do its thing – I need to let my tummy settle, my emotions get their act together, not to mention waking up and not feeling extremely fatigued. Sometimes pain and stiffness can be an issue as wall but usually meds sort that out. In the morning it is my tummy that is the biggest hurdle.

7. My favourite medical TV show is: House because it investigated a range of health problems rather than just being a typical/most known one. Ok, there was the ‘it’s lupus’ ongoing  joke but the key words there are; ongoing joke. Most medical TV programs also focus on major issues or cancer, House had so many different things.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My laptop and my kindle; I can’t write for long periods of time or carry heavy things, so ebooks and having a laptop to use for lectures/classes is an important part of me furthering my education. I couldn’t have gotten through my 2nd degree and now my postgrad without it.

9. The hardest part about nights is: Getting comfortable and not stressing about not getting enough sleep. With all my health conditions it can take any one, or a combination of them, to make my nights difficult. I need at least 7-8 hours sleep and if I feel like I’m not going to get that I’ll start stressing about the next day.

10. Each day I take: As this is a public post to promote awareness I don’t feel comfortable listing my medication for all the world to see. So here’s a total of how many meds I take a day; 9 different medications every day with 4 optional, which is a total of a minimum of 17 tablets a day, plus 2 inhalers. Then there are extra non-prescription things like cold patches, massage oils, pain gels, nasal inhalers, vicks, heat pads/hot water bottles, ginger and lemon tea etc. which I will need to use multiple times a week.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: I’ll use anything that will help me as long as it doesn’t badly interact with my medications. For this reason I don’t use homoeopathic remedies because I’m on so much meds, unless a doctor clears it.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I honestly don’t think it matters – if it’s visible you still get ignorance and prejudice, it’s just aimed slightly differently. People still suffer and have to deal with things on a daily basis. Neither is better or worse – the most important thing about disabilities is that they are all important, it isn’t a competition. Just because someone can walk doesn’t mean they’re not in pain every single step of the way – something the UK government doesn’t seem to realise but that’s a different rant entirely!

13. Regarding working and career: I have 2 undergraduate degrees because after the first one I had to re-evaluate my career options. Most History of Art related jobs were either too physically intensive (on your feet a lot) or required fine motor skills that I no longer possess. Information and libraries is a sector which allows me to sit down, take my time and do things at my own pace using body parts that haven’t given up on me yet 😛

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: Limitations as mentioned before (including future limitations such as being unable to pick up my future children), but also the fact that the UK government does not provide ANY support for young people who are in chronic pain/suffer from multiple conditions but can still walk/have all their limbs – some people have successfully fought and won, but they are a minority and it has been a hard/emotionally taxing fight. It is incredibly depressing and mind-numbingly lonely to realise no one can help you. I’ve had to go to a private physio to get the help I need to improve my life.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: So much; finding someone who understands and supports me no matter what and wants to have a future with me, as well as completing 2 degrees and now working on a post grad and actually be able to consider a career in a field I love.

17. The commercials about my illness: Generally only IBS gets one.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Being able to explore nature. I love nature, I love animals and I’d love to just go out and hike through the countryside. I just can’t do it any more.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: My independence.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Video games – I may not be able to go out and physically explore the world or jump from tall buildings, but I can explore and complete all different manner of things in video games. MMOs such as World of Warcraft have also allowed me to do this and meet an amazing bunch of people who have helped support me over the years. You guys know who you are <3

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Honestly, I don’t know. I have never been truly “normal” by societies standards, I’ve always been a sickly child even before things got bad. As much as everything sucks the way it is, at least I am used to it and can cope with it – a day of no pain, no difficulties etc. would just make reality so depressing.

23. Want to know a secret? Invisible illness suffers can be happy, true, many suffer from depression (etc.) but if you had to deal with all this you’d be depressed too! But we can and do enjoy life, be happy, laugh, joke, mess around. We just have to fight harder for it and ya know, I think that means we appreciate it all the more for it.

24. But I love it when people: Ask me if I’m ok, if I need anything, generally actually recognise that every day I’m struggling, fighting an invisible battle. Also, if I fall over (which happens pretty damn often) don’t ignore me, or stare and laugh, help me up.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: I don’t really have one, it’s people, family and friends who care and support me that help me more than a motto.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I’m not going to lie; your life is going to change, it will be difficult but it isn’t the end. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and things will get better. You’re not alone.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: Nothing positive to be honest, it’s more surprised me how horrible people can be. Especially people that suffer from invisible illnesses themselves; it’s not a competition, everyone’s suffering is valid.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: It’s little things like emailing you class notes, sending you a treat or taking over your responsibilities so you can rest.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: this is an incredibly important subject for me and something that will be a part of my entire life. I always speak openly about my health because if I can get one person to listen, one person to learn something new about invisible illnesses it is totally worth it – or make a fellow spooney feel better and less alone, all worth it.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: warm and tingly, and hoping you read it because you a) cared and b) wanted to know more about invisible illnesses rather than just being nosey to talk behind my back (yep I’m talking about you there).

If you have any questions please ask, I am always open to questions 🙂 You’re also welcome to share this as long as it’s to help others and not to mock or anything else negative.

If you own a website or blog consider showing your support of invisible awareness by joining my web clique ‘Fighting Everyday’ – http://cliques.ruby-wings.net/fight/

It’s a 2.2!

Degree

Yesterday I got my degree classification for my English Literature MA (hons) and it was a 2.2! In my previous entry I wrote about how bad I expected the result to be and honestly, I was not expecting a 2nd at all. I stared at the screen for several minutes before the hyper hysterical reality hit me and I have been on a high ever since. I am just so happy. I am extremely proud of my fellow students for getting their 2.1’s, I know how hard they worked for them – but I’m not jealous. A 2.2 is beyond my wildest dreams for four years that have been emotionally and physically difficult. I almost gave up this year, considering the idea of resitting my final year and I’m really glad I didn’t now. I’m still waiting for my individual module marks, but it is most likely my creative writing dissertation which boosted my final mark. I seriously doubt my exam results were that good.

 

They say you can do anything if you believe in it, if you put the work in and I finally feel like that is true. I had health problems during my first degree, however, they were mostly in the final part of my final year. I had to get an extension for my dissertation and that probably cost me a 1st. I was and still am overjoyed with the 2.1 I got, just as I am with this result. There are always going to be ‘what ifs’ and sometimes, especially when it’s due to health reasons beyond my control, it is easy to get lost in them. What if I hadn’t been so ill? What if I’d not missed so many classes? At the end of the day I am very lucky that it doesn’t matter. I’m already accepted into a Masters so the result didn’t matter – wait no, that is incorrect; it didn’t matter to my career, to my future. To me personally it matters. I would have been satisfied with a worse result, yet I would have felt terrible. Like a failure. Everyone around me would have told me not to be so silly, that even just completing a second degree with my health issues is a marvellous achievement – and they would have been right. I still would have felt bad. I still feel bad about my A-level results all those years ago despite holding two undergraduate degrees now.

 

Last time I got my degree classification I had just come out of a bad relationship, and while I was proud of myself, my future was completely up in the air. I had this awesome degree, loads of knowledge and experience in my mind and no idea what to do with it. No confidence to do anything with it. That was 8 years ago, and several months later I would make a choice to return to a game I still play today, the MMORPG World of Warcraft, after a chance meeting at my cousin’s wedding. There I met Chris, the amazing and loving man who has helped me through this degree and built my confidence up one bit at a time. I still have bad days, they will never go away, but I have hope and I have love. This time I am surrounded by love and support, people cheering me on and wanting me to do well – for myself.

2014 so far

World of the Year 2014

Where to begin? As you can probably guess from the lack of posts since December it has been a busy and chaotic 2014 so far. Health has been up and down, lots of changes and moving home. The later came as a massive shock and couldn’t have come at a worst time. We’re all settled in now though and life is moving onwards. I am currently in my exam period for year 3. All assessments have been handed in, although I’m waiting for grades for them still. I have 3 exams; two from Semester 1 and one from Semester 2. I was fortunate enough to have the exam gods bless me with one exam a week, which gives me plenty of time to revise for each one individually. The downside? The Medieval Literature one is first up. It’s not too bad; it’s just the translation part of the exam which has me pretty nervous. I’m not to bad reading Medieval English – in my head. But I need to write it down in modern prose… not so easy. The other two are a matter of re-reading, remembering themes and planning questions.

 

At the beginning of the year I was invited to choose a Word of the Year by Haley. To read more about this idea see this useful blog post. Googling word of the year gives you a range of different websites; dictionaries mainly but also spiritual and it isn’t specific to one religion. For me it’s spiritual, it has it’s roots in Paganism but this is something you can do whether you’re religious, spiritual or not. At the end of the day it is about positivity, making steps towards something better for yourself.

 

Change

 

That is my word of 2014 and it has so far been an apt choice. This year has already brought about some changes, whether I’ve wanted them or not. I chose it because I knew this year I would be starting two things which would have big influences on my life; teaching placement and creative writing dissertation. I’ve been at my placement at a High School since February, initially starting for just the required 25-30 hours for my Humanities in the Classroom module and then being invited to stay on for the rest of the year. I’ve also been offered the chance to return next year, which I would love to do, but I need to take into consideration that it will be my final year and that means insanity in general. Plenty of time to decide about that anyway 🙂

 

I am absolutely loving my time at the school. I really lucked out and have had the opportunity to work with an awesome department full of supportive and friendly teachers of all levels and styles. It really helped to be working alongside two student teachers currently working on their PGDE as a lot of the work they had to do, I was also doing i.e. reflecting on lesson plans and working with certain classes. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I can finally say ‘I found it’! That thing I want to do for the rest of my life. I’d love to end up an author full time, but I’m nearing 30 and it’s time to settle down into a career that will last. It has been a long time in coming but I have finally found it; Teaching. After the first day I had fallen in love with it.

 

I had been worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle it physically but another change, a positive one, is that my Physio is working. I have the loveliest Physio and cannot recommend the team at Glasgow Physio Center highly enough. They’re awesome 🙂 I have a 30 min session every week in which is usually spent 15 mins working on my problem areas with massaging techniques and stretches and then 15 minutes pilates. I’m hoping to move up to 30 mins pilates over the summer.

 

This should hopefully break my lack of blog entries record now. I have a growing list of topics I want to blog about so I’ll try and get started on them soon! 🙂 At the moment I’m getting over a bug that I’ve had for 3 weeks – yep my entire easter break, which sucked – and during my recovery I have gotten addicted to pinterest thanks to Haley and Claire. You can find me over here.