Thursday, 31 December 2015

Year In Review: 2015 - Where to begin?

It tends to be a yearly tradition now where I make a blogpost on here about my year in a few hundred words, how I'm able to do that I'm not sure. Here we go, it's a particularly soppy one this year but I've been extremely soppy overall this year so it makes sense. 

So 2015 has been a year that's changed me, I say this every single bloody year but I think I have definite proof this time. It's had its good & bad points. I came out as a bi-romantic asexual so I basically announced that I'm not straight, I just love people. I faced some really tough times that exhausted me both mentally & physically. I went on a first date, something I thought would never happen. I became a First Aider. I've shed so many tears that I've become permanently dehydrated. I visited and discovered so many new places that became my little paradises to escape to when times were tough. I moved into my first private flat with my best friend. I decided to give up alcohol completely in May and it was the best decision I've ever made. I found out my idols are not just a figment of my imagination but they actually do exist. I've dealt with so much heartbreak this year that my heart has run out of super-glue. I received my first collection of fan mail. A childhood friend of mine sadly passed away suddenly. And I finally found a place I want to live in the future, I've decided that as soon as I can afford it, I'm living in Stonehaven. It was the hardest year in terms of university and part time work combined, being responsible for so many people's well-being and safety, dealing with the aspect of losing close friends who gave me meaning in life was too scary to write down in words. There was great pressure on me looking after and making people happy, to achieve the best marks I possibly could in my degree and gain respect as a responsible 21 year old in this big, terrifying world.

2015 was the year I really struggled to accept and love people, it's always been hard with my social anxiety but most importantly, it was so hard to be able to accept and love myself. It was the year I met lots new people, some in situations I never thought would be possible for me, yet I've already lost touch with most of them. But there have been some dear people who have made me smile a lot and I can't thank them enough. This year in particular, I lost someone who I thought was my best friend, but after a horrible fallout, we've never been able to re-patch things. It's a shame because I miss the fun and dear times we had together, but because this person had hurt me so much, it set my social anxiety on a whole new level, to the point where I tried to shut everyone out so I wouldn't hurt anyone else. 
It was the year where I had to confide in my dear friends, Connie & Struan, to be there for me, with coming out as bi & admitting I had depression/anxiety and needed help to keep on going. So many times I thought I was going to lose them and thought I wasn't worthy enough for them but they've always been there and I love them too much for words, everyday I'm so grateful for the sunshine they bring through that small window when it feels like I'm locked in a dark room with no way out. Coming to terms with my sexuality took many days & nights, weeks, even months of just crying to myself and trying to force myself to be straight and want sex. Now, I'm at that stage where I want asexuality to be talked about a lot more in LGBT communities across the world, discussed in sex education in schools and in social media & I'm slowly accepting the fact that it's just part of me. I have fallen for so many people this year, once again the wrong ones for me for too many different reasons and my heart has taken a bit of a beating but I'm still standing, just. 
University work was extremely tough, especially with the fact you were left to your own devices but I like to think I've improved massively in my saxophone playing, especially receiving my new horn, Candy, this summer. This next year is crucial and the pressure is fucking scary! Wish me luck! 

Now I'm happy to report that I have achieved most of the goals I set for this year, as you know from previous years, they're not resolutions but more ideas or ambitions I think could be possible to do within the year.

1. Travel more, see more places in the Aberdeenshire area in particular
I've been to the Royal Deeside, Slains Castle/Cruden Bay, Dundee and my particular favourite place this year has been Stonehaven, ever since my best friend Struan & I went for my 21st birthday, it's been my sanctuary at an overwhelming, difficult time for me and I honestly want to move there once I've done university/have a break for a year. There are still a couple of places I need to explore but I've pretty much seen the main areas in Aberdeenshire, which isn't just handy for my part time job but also places to escape to after a particularly stressful time.

2. Stay strong, no matter how hard the year gets, for my family's sake more than my own
My family and friends mean the absolute world to me, and people often say I'm like a motherly figure to them, so of course it upsets me that I often crumble myself. There have been several times where I've cried myself to sleep or felt as if I was all alone, thanks to the depression/anxiety that's built up a lot this year but all it takes is for my best friends, Struan & Connie in particular, to text me or pull a silly face or say they're here for me and it makes me laugh & smile again. So I wouldn't have been as strong without them in my life. My cousins and younger brother are still my inspiration and I want to be the role model they deserve for them. And my parents show no bounds of stopping in terms of their support for me, so I hope I'm doing them proud.

3. Take more photos of friends and family. Keep the special people close to you as always.
I've taken some really lovely pictures this year and now have a photo album which I bought from Paperchase (guilty pleasure!) where I print photos and keep them inside. I have my favourite selfies I've recently taken with Struan & Connie in December but have also taken some pictures of the lovely places I've visited this year. Here are a couple of my faves!

4. Keep on working, girl! The next two years are crucial.
At the end of 3rd year, I achieved 6 B's & 2 C's, and technically I have a degree already, the final year is my honours year. For someone who's not a straight A student, it's not that bad. It means I'm on my way to receiving a 2:1 with honours, it's my target and I really don't want to fall at the last hurdle, especially with all the incredible support so many people have given me. These next six months are going to determine where my life will lead to next and I'm petrified.

5. Learn to cook different meals other than pasta
I can make Diet Coke Chicken, curries, risotto, but I feel as if I've eaten more junk food this year due to stress. It's something I definitely want to work on but it may be after I've handed in my final university work before it happens, I plan to stay in Aberdeen for another year with my flatmate Struan so we'll see how we do, we like making dinner for each other in the flat so hopefully we'll get some ideas flowing. 

6. Watch the films I haven't seen yet and have been told off for not seeing them like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Iron Man etc
Funnily enough, I've seen all three series I've mentioned this year. Struan watched the 6 Star Wars films with me in one weekend (so I bought him tickets to see the new Star Wars with me, best friend points won I think!), I watched the 3 Lord of the Rings films in a bundle (took forever), and saw the three Iron Man films. I have seen quite a few films this year but I still have a long way to go in terms of watching all the films on my list on my phone but I'm quietly quite proud of myself!

So what about 2016, what do I want to try and achieve in the next year?
1. Receive a 2:1 at least in my Bachelor of Music undergraduate degree
2. Start learning sign language at North East College in September
3. Take a holiday somewhere with Struan & Connie, for their 21st birthdays & my graduation.
4. Save money for a flat in Stonehaven
5. Meet Harriet & Shelley
6. Get a Disclosure so I can work with children in the future
7. Fall in love with the right person for once
8. Get better. :)

So there we go, another year done, I'll be honest, it wasn't easy and a lot more sucky things have happened. But you have times that are not so good compared to others and the good times I did have this year were amazing. Here's to 2016, the year that is definitely going to change my life completely! To those special people who I keep on mentioning, I wouldn't be here without you all in my life, so I hope your support will carry on to the most important year of my life so far because I need as many laughs as I can get. Hope everyone has a safe and fun Hogmanay/New Year celebration, have a dram on me because I'm alcohol free now. I'm also staying at home for Hogmanay/New Year as I'm fighting off this cold, typical eh? Oh well, what can you do but just live with it. Thank you for reading this mammoth of a post, love you in particular because you've read the whole thing to the end, round of applause for you! Take care everyone. 

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