Wednesday, 10 January 2018

'Friendlationships'

Definition from Urban Dictionary: Friendlationship(n) is a combination of the words 'friends' and 'relationship', used to describe a somewhat-platonic relationship that contains all the aspects of an actual romantic relationship, without any physical/sexual benefits. Basically, all the sacrifice but none of the gain. Often occurs when both people involved harbour some desire for the other, but neither is willing to take a chance and potentially ruin their friendship.

Throughout my shocking dating and 'relationship' history, I seem to stumble upon this situation a lot, particularly with the last person I was really close with. 

When I socialise with males, a lot of the time, I get the general comments from people:
'Are you dating? Is he your boyfriend? How long have you been together? Wait, you're not going out? You spend a lot of time together! Why haven't you made a move yet? Why hasn't he made the move yet? What are you waiting for? You clearly like each other!'

Frustrating isn't it? I mean for starters, the majority of my male friends are gay so it seems ridiculous. Also, if only people realised how hard relationships are for someone like me, riddled with social anxiety from a young age, struggling with depression and of course identifying as a biromantic asexual, meaning I am a minority in terms of the LGBTQ+ community. This post I found today describes the struggles I deal with my sexuality perfectly: http://bit.ly/2CKnUYr

We grow up in a world that still seems to portray a black and white outlook on life, for example, you're either in a relationship or not, you're either gay or straight, you either love something or hate something. Then you realise that life is not like that. Relationships are about two people being together so it's not as easy as it looks. It amazes me that people can move on and pass from person to person so quickly. 

When I first fell for this person, I was scared to open up to him but when I did, we ended up having this friendlationship that lasted for way too long. I ended up talking on the phone to him for over an hour, inviting him out to dinner just the two of us, we had many outings (visiting his home town, going to see a theatre show), he was my plus one at a ball, I met his family and stayed over at his house (I was in the guest room by the way). Nothing sexual happened, I never kissed him, even thought it was all I wanted to do for the longest time but I told him I loved him and felt a strong spark. There was a period in my life where I thought I couldn't live without him and didn't date anyone else during this friendlationship because I believed it could grow into something more. It never did. 

I take pride on being a friendly individual to friends, family, colleagues, even complete strangers I work with. So of course I am proud and privileged of the friendships I have and how I (somehow) make people laugh. But at the end of the day I am just like every other human being, everyone wants to be loved. So to not be 100% appreciated for who you does dent your confidence and trust in others. 

You often hear 'There's plenty of other fish in the sea.' but most of the time that metaphor does not help after a difficult situation like a friendlationship. Because you were so close, yet so far to reaching that final goal. All of the energy and time you gave that individual has basically been wasted. It also affects the surrounding people who know both you and the person you saw. 

I hope through this post that I have highlighted that it is ok for you to go through a complicated relationship like that and come out the other side. I hope you can see that the world isn't as black and white as people portray it but filled with colour and wonder.
So it's ok to realise that you can be in a situation that isn't necessarily concrete. It's ok to feel confused, scared and unsure, its human nature. 

Realise how important you are and that you deserve a full life, if that friendlationship is doing nothing but tearing you down, GET OUT. 
You don't exactly have to fall out or lose this friend completely, I am still friends with the person I was close with, just try to get past all the complicated thoughts and feelings that can weigh you down, don't contact them as much and try to look out for yourself. 
If you are going through a difficult situation, my heart is with you during this time because I know how much it can suck.


<3 HEARTS TO EVERYONE! <3

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Year In Review: 2017 - Thank God it's over!

So it’s that time of year again. I’ll be honest with you now, if you somehow like reading my Year In Review posts at Hogmanay, I really didn’t want to document this past year like I have done the previous ones. Even looking back on what happened just makes me feel really low. Last year I completed a dissertation, did my performance recital, got an honours degree and thought I finally found someone decent to love and be with. Let’s just say what a difference a year makes.

In general, this year has been really hard, soul destroying at times, lonely and just downright sucky. Yes, some good things did happen like seeing Queen for the 2nd time ever in Glasgow, cutting my hair for the Little Princess Trust and raising £250 for the charity, donating more of my money to certain charities, Social Bite in particular, donating blood for the first time this year (3 donations so far and I am loving it!), volunteering with Aberdeen Jazz Festival and Aberdeen International Youth Festival, playing saxophone with ensembles in different locations and finding a job which will hopefully be the dream combination of working in music and additional support needs education that I have been looking for.

However, the majority of this year has had several down periods: I faced real financial difficulty. I was bullied severely at a previous job, to the point where I was told I was completely pointless. I gave up things I wanted to do just to get my life back together. I injured my hand just by tripping over an uneven slab, where it was in pain for almost 4 months. I faced the worst spell of depression I had ever faced. A close member of my family had a heart attack. Another has been off work ill also. Just recently I fell out of love with someone I had unrequitedly loved for over 18 months, which made the loneliness and isolation almost unbearable at points.

Looking back on these resolutions I set for the year, I had only completed one: which was moving to my own flat. And have gone through periods of isolation and loneliness since living there. However, I am still going to document this year. As in the future, I will look back and think, ‘Damn, how I got through this shit, I dunno but I have come so far since then.’ This year has also made me realise who your friends really are and how people can surprise you.

At the end of 2016, I knew I was going to leave a difficult job, start a new one and will hopefully get my life back. Unfortunately, that was far from the case. It was promising the first couple of weeks and then I made a couple of mistakes, as you do when you start a new job. You think as soon as you leave school, you won’t face bullying ever again. Until it slaps you hard on the face and knocks you to the ground. I had never been felt so much hatred and fear towards someone as I have done towards this person. I lost all of my confidence in myself thanks to this situation at my job and got so ill I had to take nine days off with a sick note. Yet I still faced the heart-breaking decision of leaving the children I had met and had formed strong bonds with, for a while these children were the only friends I had. One of the hardest things I had to go through was not being able to say goodbye from them. It’s been seven months or so now, I have new jobs with staff that are in majority really nice but it still stings today when a child from my old job comes into my new work and gets startled.

After a rough start to the year, summer came when I went back to an old job and was going through a bunch of different interviews & faced really difficult decisions. I then made my choice and thought things were finally going to fit into place. Then I received that FaceTime on that Monday morning, last week in September. And nothing mattered at that moment in time. It was a huge shock to everyone in the family, so much so that it has changed their lives and their relationships. It did give you some perspective as to who are your friends and who are the people you can count on during difficult times. You regained some faith in humanity but felt like the world was taking it out on the nice people.

As for thinking I had finally found the love of my life, even I realised I was living in a dream land and noticed that this person was never going to love me the same way I loved them. Thankfully one day, I woke up and even though I still care about him, I fell out of love with him. Even though it was a relief, it was also heart-breaking as it made me realise how alone I felt. Whether someone else will come along in 2018, who knows but I do know I have little time off as it is working three part time jobs.

So, here we go. My goals for 2017, did I complete them? Oh jeez.

1.     Pass my Sign language classes in May
I did get my SCQF Level 3, which was the class I did in 2016. The exam was in January this year. Due to the stress I received from my job at the time, I decided to leave the next level, which I regret. However, I knew if I stayed, I would have affected my health even more. I would like to see if I can take part in the next level in the near future, especially as I am now beginning to use it working with ASN children & young adults.

2.     Start driving lessons and sit my Driving Test, at least pass my Theory.
I get so much pressure from so many people to start driving lessons, since my first lesson in October 2016, I haven’t sat behind the wheel of a car since. It is a constant struggle just to afford rent in employment that pays minimum wage. It is definitely something I would like to look into the New Year for various reasons.

3.     Move to my own flat somewhere in the summer
That goal I did achieve, in June, I moved into the Casa de Eilidh and have enjoyed having my own space. It has been tricky at times living on my own but I love looking forward to going back to my pad, with tea and a blanket and not worry about having to act sociable. I love making it a home for myself and feel so cosy and warm here.

4.     Travel to more places, ideally Orkney & Shetland
I started the year in Broughty Ferry & Dundee. A new Street Art festival was introduced to Aberdeen, which helped to make you feel like a tourist exploring in your own home. I was finally able to visit both Drum and Crathes Castle this year and with going back to work in tourism over the summer, it meant I went to Stonehaven for work most days. I explored Glasgow more in December. Whether I can visit Orkney or Shetland this year, I am not sure but it’s still something I would love to do. I would like to go to Bordeaux to visit my best friend during his placement, but yet again I am not 100% sure whether it would happen.

5.     Gain more experience in working with children, possibly start postgraduate
I guess I definitely had more experience working with children, full time, part time & casual whether it is in childcare, music, volunteering or working for a visitor attraction for children. I have attended more training courses and have really built up a passion to work with children. As for a postgraduate, that was something I was interested in, now I am not so sure. Unfortunately due to budget cuts, music education is getting cut left, right and centre. So there is a chance I may have to go down another career path, maybe more into childcare as there is a demand for it.

6.     Get better. In terms of mental health. <3
That I still need to work on, what I realised this year is how long of a process it is to recover from a mental illness, especially if the origins of it began in your childhood.

Now the main goal for 2018 is for it not to be anywhere near as shit as 2017. Then I’ll be happy. But here are some extra goals for 2018 that I would like to get close to completing.

1.     Gain my confidence back in the workplace, maintain a healthy balance between jobs and get fully settled in them all.
2.     Save money, for holidays or treats, mainly to pay back overdraft. Possibly to pay for au pair trip to America.
3.      Organise a birthday trip away. Even if the trip has to be in July. My birthday is in March by the way.
4.     Sit driving test by the end of the year. Pass theory at least.
5.     Start dating, eventually.
6.     Travel to Orkney/Shetland? Maybe?

Right, so this was a mess of a post. I’m now going to enjoy whatever I get up to back in the Highlands tonight, praying it will be staying in a cosy house watching Hootenanny. Happy New Year to you all, have a safe Hogmanay and all the very best wishes for 2018! Let’s all pray that it’s a big improvement on 2017.


Sunday, 27 August 2017

Living the Single Life

Hi blog. First post in what has literally been forever. How are things? Yeah, sorry, life got out of hand, just ask my actual friends, they have hardly seen me this year. How are the views and the comments? Non existent, man that's tough.

Anyways, HI WORLD! I want to rant. About a topic I am an expert on. Being Single. 
I was watching a couple of YouTube videos on 'being single' eg. Hannah Witton last week, after feeling incredibly lonely from watching nothing but couples. And I want to talk about this from my side. Because it tends to be like this 'I've been single for so long, like 6 months and I am not ready for another relationship so I'll wait.' Then two days later they are dating someone they have messaged on Tinder. 
I have always been single. 23 years I have been on this planet and I am yet to experience the hype of having a boyfriend or girlfriend. Everybody goes, 'awwwww...' 
Not really a surprise is it, considering I was the size of a whale and had major social anxiety throughout my childhood/teenage years. 
I have literally only had first dates, that either turn into rejection or prolonged periods of 'What the hell is this, is this even dating, oh no wait you just see me as a friend, FFS.' Had one kiss when I was 19, I was drunk and the guy was weird. Since then, my lips have not been pecked. 
Does my asexuality play a big part in this? Absolutely.
Does it make me feel like an absolute loner and freak? Oh, definitely.
Yet do I want to be in a relationship? Maybe. Not really. Don't think I'll ever be ready for that! I mean, have you met me?!
You get different reactions to saying you're single, every 'single' time (see what I did there?!). From friends, family, associates...
  • 'Why is that? You're easy to get on with, you're 'attractive', why are you single?'
  • 'Are you gay? What's wrong with you?'
  • 'Sure that special person is out there somewhere.'
  • 'I miss being single. I had my own life and freedom back then.'
There are definitely advantages and disadvantages with being single, as there is with every single thing in life. I am sure there are many advantages and disadvantages with being in a relationship. 

Advantages: No-one to boss you around, no major responsibilities. The world is your oyster, if you're brave enough of course. If you want to go and visit that place, do it. You wanna pig out and eat junk food, do it. I need space by myself, especially after a shift at a workplace filled with people, so I can look like an absolute mess. I have my own place, I can focus on my goals without having to second guess them in front of a partner. 
Disadvantages: Loneliness and isolation, it's a bitch. I am a very maternal, emotional, family orientated person so I love couples & families from that perspective. A dream of mine will be to have my own family. Being a constant third wheel does take it's toll after a while. The lonely nights in bed when all you dream about is having someone to comfort you and support you through really shitty times. Still being a minority in a world filled with couples. 
I have always been independent in terms of keeping myself occupied, trying to cope with bullying from a young age meant I isolated myself from lots of people. It was rare that I had people who were good friends. Now I have a small group of friends that are really important people in my life. And of course the majority of them are males. START THE RUMOUR TRAIN! CHOO CHOO!

I mean, the number of times I have had my male friends being called my boyfriend is just ridiculous really. Probably because 80% of them are gay but still, besides the point. It goes to that whole debate, can men and women be just friends? Of course they bloody can. 
So what do they offer singles so they can get out of the hole and be accepted in the dating/relationship world? Tinder. OkCupid. In my case as I am bi, Her. Which is filled with horny, sex deprived people just wanting to touch you. Hello, I am asexual, that creeps the hell out of me. I would rather pull my hair out than go out with this creep. Goodbye. (P.s. - this is legit a message I got on OkCupid. Like Jesus Christ.)
Being single is hard, life is hard but hey, at least you can say you took on the world on your own. And you're still fighting. You go, girl friend or boy friend! See the spaces? They're important.

Was this post a complete pile of mush? Maybe. Meh...