It's been a while, hasn't it? I've not long finished uni so now I'll have more time to focus on my blog and my writing as a whole so you can expect many more notifications in the next coming weeks!
The title of this blog is a lyric from the song Work this Body by Walk the Moon, I would certainly recommend a listen.
Shall we crack on?
So much has happened again since my last blog. I really wanted to write something to commemorate the end of my degree at Derby, I'm still waiting for my preliminary results and they will come at the end of this month, it really is just a waiting game. But I feel as I have to write something to end that chapter in my life and move on comfortably. My undergrad degree has been a massive part of my life and looking back, I know I really have made an enormous effort to get to this point. As much as people around me try to drill it into my head that I have done very well considering the circumstances, I refuse to believe it. Because I wasn't always like this. I wasn't this hard-working way back when. And I honestly don't know how I've turned things around if it wasn't for the people around me.
My attendance at primary and secondary school was abysmal and I mean that. I was constantly off school and truthfully I do still feel guilty about how much education I missed. With my visual impairment, I struggled a lot to come to terms with it, I hated being different. I had to work so much harder than my peers in order to keep up and I think somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I never was going to be as good so I didn't really go to school. I was afraid of making a fool of myself and that seems to have carried on into adulthood although now I can deal with it much better. I lacked motivation and effort to go to school, I was quite a sickly child anyway but it wasn't until I was choosing my GCSEs in year nine that everything sort of clicked into place. I wanted to attend lessons and learn, maybe because I was actually doing subjects I liked. Maybe it was due to my teachers, several of which I still owe thanks to. And I think it was due to the friends I made in year ten and eleven, that's when the friendship I still have today really formed.
It was extremely difficult growing up with a visual impairment, I didn't have much contact with children with similar conditions, in all honesty, I still don't. I hated using my cane, despised doing mobility training because I didn't want to be different, I wanted to be normal. Anxiety has been something I've suffered with since primary school. I much prefer to blend into the background than stand out and draw attention to myself. My goodness that has changed! I still want to be in the background from time to time but I am putting myself out there. That was the whole reasons behind starting this website, to promote my writing and be seen, to get my voice across and inspire others. This is why uni and secondary school have really helped me.
I decided to stay at my local school and attend the sixth form there, I knew all the teachers, my friends were going as well and I felt safe enough to start working harder. There wasn't' many people I didn't know so the fear of making a fool of myself slowly faded. Honestly, I think the two main subjects that most inspired me to get into writing are History and English, the two subjects I can actually do! My attendance still wasn't great but I had an excellent support network full of people pushing me to try my best. I wanted to make them proud and I hope I have. I mean, I never would have thought I'd be graduating from university in less than two months. I'm always writing, always doing work and I just want to learn. I want to learn as much as I can whilst I still have my remaining eyesight because who knows when it will go?
Accepting the inevitable fate of losing my sight is one I have made peace with as I mentioned in previous blogs. I may not be a high achieving student with brilliant grades, but I try my best with what’s available to me and that's all anyone can do at the end of the day. I have got through some really dark times still intact, I've just finished my second block of cognitive behavioural therapy and I feel like I can handle my mental health a bit better. I've got friends and family to support me and I know I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them.
Many people have said to me that writing is not going to be a very profitable way to live. My response has always been that I know that, I write because I can because I love it with so much passion and I want to keep writing until my eyesight goes and beyond. I've got a place at Nottingham Trent University to study a Masters in creative writing and I am so looking forward to it, even if I'm a bit terrified! Writing is the one thing I know I can do confidently so why shouldn't I pursue that? I know I work too hard sometimes, I push myself beyond what is necessary because after all the years of poor attendance and not being good enough, I feel like I have to prove myself. But I don't, I don't need to prove who or what I am to anyone and neither do you. I have lost friends along this journey but the friendships I have are so very strong that I couldn't ask for any more.
At the end of all this, I want to say thank you. I have been offered so much wonderful support and I have had to fight for so many things that I know there is nothing from stopping me achieving whatever the hell I want even though I never thought in a million years I would get here but I have. And I will continue to work hard. I will get a book published, I will continue my novel and expand my portfolio of creative writing. The most important thing is I will continue to make people proud and inspire them. Because if I can turn my entire life around from a student with poor attendance to the person I am now, what's stopping you?
I'll leave you with these quotes,
The Way Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing. – Walt Disney
We Generate Fears While We Sit. We Overcome Them By Action. – Dr Henry Link
Don’t let your past consume you, don’t let your past mould who you are for the rest of your life.— Jacksepticeye, DON’T DROWN IN LONELINESS | Welcome Back, December.
And just know that if an idiot like me can go from being the least confident person, who never speaks out for himself, to who you see in front of you, which may or may not be an improvement, depending on your metrics, but If I can do it, you can.-- Markiplier, “Thank You”.
If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs. And maybe your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery, isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance. Of how much you really want to do it. And you’ll do it, despite rejection in the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. – From Factotum.
I know what I have to do now, I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? – From Cast Away
Until the next time.