Another little ramble today. And seeing as though the weather is pretty bad where I am, I thought I'd do some writing.
The title of this blog is inspired by the song Believer by Imagine Dragons.
So shall we crack on?
I've been thinking about what I'm going to do after uni a lot recently.
I mean, I kind of have to since I graduate in July of this year from Derby uni, but I’ve been thinking about where my writing is going to go after that. All those questions I had at the very beginning of my degree are resurfacing. Will people read my work, will they like it? What am I going to write about, what will I do if it all falls through? Am I going to be able to find an agent or a publisher?
The answer is simple. I don't have a clue.
That’s not because I don’t care, sometimes I think I care a little bit too much. I am worried about what’s going to happen but at the end of the day, I can only do my best. I can only try so hard and put so much energy into my writing. That won't stop some people from hating my writing. There will be people out there who don't like me, my writing style or the genres I write in. And that is absolutely fine, everyone is entitled to their own preferences and thoughts. I know my preferred writing style and genre is very different to yours. This can be applied to anything, not just writing. Everyone likes different things. I personally don’t like reality television shows but am I going to complain if someone I know watches them? Probably not. As long as you enjoy your hobbies and you like it, then that's the only thing that matters. No one can take that away from you. So yes, there might be someone who likes my writing and there will be others who don't. I can deal with that, it’s not the end of the world.
The thing I am most worried about is getting a job after university life. Try as I might, I cannot seem to get a job. I'm aware I don’t have much experience with people, I haven't worked in a shop or whatever, but I have done volunteering with guide dogs. I know how to help someone, it’s in my nature as a person. I can hold a conversation and listen to instructions. However, as soon as I tell a potential employer I am registered blind and have a guide dog, they don't want to know. It might just be because I don't really have much experience but I can't help but feel like my visual impairment is a factor. And I know that one day I will lose my sight altogether, but lets come to bridge when we have to, shall we?
After some research, I’ve found that disabled people are less likely to be employed than non-disabled people. On the Gov.UK website, the Official Statistics for Disability facts and figures states in 2012, 46.3% of working-age disabled people are in employment compared to 76.4% of working-age non-disabled people. There is therefore a 30.1 percentage point gap between disabled and non-disabled people, representing over 2 million people. This means that there is more 50% of disabled people in the UK who are unemployed. And I understand that there are some out there who are totally unable to work, however there are people, young people like me who are disabled but can do basic things. Sure, I probably won't be able to do till work but I can stock shelves and talk to customers. I'm not completely unable to work, I want to work. It’s just finding the right employer who is willing to take the risk.
There are only certain times I blame my disability for hindering my life and not being able to get a job is one of them. It’s frustrating and I do get upset by it at times because I know I can do it on my own but I need help. For example, if I'm going out for something to eat with my friends, I have to ask what's on the menu. I have to ask them what's in front of them or ask to be guided because I won't be able to find my way around alone, never mind fall over something or make a fool of myself. I don't like doing it, I don't want to be a hindrance on other people. Perhaps that's why I'm unable to get a job, employers may not want to take the risk of having a disabled person at work in case there's an accident or the production is going downhill because we have to take more time to get tasks completed. I know what I am capable, I'm able to learn. I think that's why I chose writing as my main profession. It's something I can do on my own, I can do it at my own pace.
I am an advocate for inspiration and I think disability attributes to that, there are a lot of inspiring people out there who are pushing them further than was ever expected of them and I think its brilliant. Being inspired by anyone, whether they have a disability or not is something that should be celebrated. However, I recently read a blog on the RNIB's website on this topic (find it here) that got me thinking. There are times when people I know call me inspiring and there's a part of me that just doesn't believe it. I've said it before, I’m not inspiring, and I just get on with everything. I find ways around challenges and get stuff done. Of course there are breakdowns and tears but I think it would be unnatural not to show weakness. But you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get on with it, just like I’ve done. There's nothing inspiring about it, it’s just life. Living every single day the only way I know how, that's the truth of it.
This is inspired by the song Voldemort by With Confidence.
Reaching out a trembling hand,
She took Isobel’s fingers in her grasp.
Entwined their hands and gave the joints a squeeze.
She could feel her best friend shaking,
As they both stood outside the hall.
Waiting silently alongside the rest of the year.
It was now, the time had come.
It had crept up on them,
Within a blink of an eye, a beat of their hearts,
Three long years had passed them by.
Where had the time gone?
Spent in libraries and bent over books,
The desperate scramble to meet the deadlines.
Then a minute respite before the workload called again.
The life of a university student.
Not for them though.
Not her and Isobel.
No late night parties or drinking sessions.
Instead hot cups of tea, thick blankets
And a shoulder to cry on.
Clinging onto one another,
Both trying to stay afloat under the stress.
Finding comfort in one another.
What was going to happen to them now?
Now that it was all over?
She couldn't do this on her own.
She wasn't ready.
She had to make it stop.
Her chest tightened as the clock ticked in her ears.
She'd be alone.
Fending for herself in some pokey flat.
What was she going to do?
The hand in hers squeezed their fingers.
Their eyes met and Isobel smiled.
There was no need for words now.
They wouldn't mean anything.
The door to the hall opened.
Jodie pulled her graduation gown over her shoulder,
Her right hand still holding Isobel's left.
Who knew what was going to happen.
But who cares?
I believe that anyone who overcomes a challenge in their lives, be it going to an appointment by yourself when you have crippling anxiety and depression or getting a big project done before the deadline or even dying all the odds and doing something brilliant, it should all be celebrated. You have to take a little pride in your abilities from time to time, only then I think will you have enough confidence in yourself to keep going.
The smallest achievement can create massive amounts of inspiration. It rallies people, gets them going and encourages you to believe in yourself. We are all capable of anything and everything we set our minds to, it doesn't matter if you're disabled or not, doesn't matter if you have mental health conditions. You can do anything, it takes that first step, the very scary first step and lots of determination to get it done. There shouldn't be anyone holding you back, a disability or mental health condition shouldn't hold you back. They don’t define you as a person, they make you stronger. It can be frustrating and upsetting and it can feel like you can't do it but you can. It will be worth it. Even if it is terrifying at first. Take it from someone who knows.
I'll leave you with these quotes.
You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.--Eames, Inception.
But after a while, you learn to ignore the names people call you and just trust who you are~shrek.
Stuff can go wrong sometimes, and you can deal with it, and you can get through it, and you can come out better at the far end of it.- Jacksepticeye.
It's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.--Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
You are what you love, not what loves you.--Donald Kaufman, Adaptation.
I know, it's almost impossible to succeed, but who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt.--Celine, Before Sunrise.
Until the next time.