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Friendship is a funny thing.

13 July 2015

There comes a time in life when you sit back and reflect on the friendships you hold; the friendships that you value and the friendships that have blossomed or broken down.

Recently I’ve had the feeling that those friendships I thought were the strongest and the greatest are no longer the same as they used to be. Friendship is ever changing, sometimes ever lasting, but often two people can follow different paths but never stray away so far that they no longer hold that closeness that before seemed never ending.

Connecting is an important part of friendship, the way that two people share similar out looks on life and know that they always have each others back. But over the last few weeks I’ve been growing apart from my closest friends, I no longer understand the way they think and the way the act, like their strangers or acquaintances. Maybe I’ve changed, but I don’t think so, I will admit that I see things more clearly these days and value equality and kindness over many things, but there are a few things that I never saw changing.

Like the way that they could take family for granted and be more concerned with climbing the career ladder than spending time with loved ones. How they could complain about the hours they work for months if not years and yet not do anything about it. It’s frustrating and upsetting to see your best friend crash and burn and not do anything about it and allow others to dictate their life, knowing that it will not end well.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I miss my best friend, I miss the one that you could always rely on to be there in times of need and to have your back. I miss the one that put friends and family above everything and knew that you should work to live and not live to work. I’m not sure how to resolve this, I just know that I will not give up on our friendship, 20 years of friendship is not without its ups and downs, I just wish that we could go back to messing around by the river and stuffing our faces with cake.

For now I’ll just wait with hope that the friend I know is there and will see the light and come back to the best friend that I know she is.


Should I go? Or should I stay?

1 May 2014

Sometimes in life we reach that stage where we have to take a leap of faith, that terrifying jump into the unknown, out of our comfort zone and into that place where everything is being questioned, everything feels like it’s changing, like we can’t quite keep up with all that is going on and then it hits you. Why worry? Why try to fit into what everyone is saying, what we should be doing or what we shouldn’t, why not just be?

If everyone just stopped for a moment and put aside what other people think,what we think we should be doing and gave themselves a moment to figure out what it actually is that we want, wouldn’t we be happier? I’m tired of trying to follow what the people around me and what society dictates that I should be doing. If I decide to follow that within the next six months I’ll be in a graduate role, working the 9-5 lifestyle, living for the weekend, looking into mortgages, putting down roots, but what for?

I think it’s about time that decisions be based on what we really want to do. For the last 4 years of my life I’ve dreamt about travelling to South America and working my way up all the way to Canada, and now I’m in the position that I will shortly have the time to do so, I feel like the walls are coming down and people are talking about getting jobs, you’d be good at this, at that, but hardly anyone has mentioned travel, but why not?

Travel broadens the mind, it challenges people, gives them more experiences than they could ever imagine, but it’s not the career option that normally springs to mind.

I’ve been offered the opportunity to travel the world with one of my favourite people ever and I’m doubting it because I don’t know if it’ll be too hard, or too difficult, my heart is screaming out go go go! But my head is trying to be more practical, I’ve been given a month to decide what I want to do, should I stay or should I go? That is the question…

When one chapter ends, another one has to start.

21 November 2013

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they sit down and reevaluate things, they take a step back, look at what’s going on and say, hell no to that! My time came a week ago when my flatmate, and alleged best friend from university, turned around and screamed at me.

There had been a brewing in the air, an awkward silence which I never understood exactly why and the deadly glares. Then came the text, the one that changed everything.

“When you’ve climbed out of your own arse hole let me know”

Now for anyone that knows me, you’ll be fully aware that I hate confrontation, I’m always the one that apologises even when it’s not my fault, I’ll walk away, I won’t deal with so to receive this literally out of the blue, I was hurt and shocked. How could someone I considered like a sister treat me like this? So with the encouragement of my best friend I asked.

There was no reason. Just yelling.

I asked what I could have possibly done wrong and was answered back with a I effing hate you, you think everyone loves you but they all hate you and words too vulgar to share with you. I stormed out of the flat and ended up crying down the phone to my family for the next hour or so. It was like a dreadful breakup, but one between friends. I felt betrayed and horrified at how someone could be so vicious, I thought I was a bad person that she was telling the truth, but then I got some perspective, it really didn’t matter what she thought, she was one person with one opinion, albeit one that I believe to be wrong, but one opinion all the same. Why should I let her get to me, upset me, cry so much that my boyfriend currently living in another country was going to fly out here.

Everything clicked. There are good people and there are bad people in the world, no-one is 100% good nor 100% bad, it’s a mixture, but it’s the side that we present to the world that counts. That day she decided to show her true colours, a side that I’d never seen before but one that many others had. I got a throbbing pain of hurt all the way to my heart, I lost a friend that day and it still upsets me, but I have to move forward and be strong. So I decided to write this and try and see the positive side of things.

The fact that that friendship has well and truly burnt its bridges means that I can see now what really defines the meaning of a friend. A friend is someone that lights you up when you’re down, turns that frown upside down, is happy to listen and will always be on your side no matter what, they have your back and you have their’s. Ever since I was five I’ve had the same best friend, but we went to different universities so naturally had new friends in our retrospective unis, but it never stopped us from being best friends, it just meant that we had close uni friends who we thought we could count on, it turns out I couldn’t and neither could she. University is a challenge, but I think people forget to realise that it’s not just an academic challenge but a challenge of our strength and ability to bounce back as well. I’m in my fourth and final year now and am learning some pretty hard life lessons.

The most important that I’ve only recently learnt is that sometimes in life there comes a time when you must say no. You must do what is best for you and no-one else. So I lost a close friend the other day, but I also learnt a valuable lesson, cutting people out doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a strong person. It’s not easy, but now I can see that without her I can finally breathe, I’m more positive as I’m not having my energy sucked from a negative person, I’ve got time to do what I want rather than being called a bad person and constantly being put down. I can focus on my studies, on what I want from life and so much more.

I’ve got the energy to write, to tell people what I expect and to not let one small thing ruin my day. For a while now I haven’t felt like myself, I’ve avoided people, I’ve cried more than I’d like to admit and I’ve comfort ate far too much.

But tonight is the night that I pick happiness, I pick to spend time with the people I love as much as I can, to cherish the friendships that I do have and life itself. I hope that anyone in a similar situation can do this too.

A chapter of my life has ended, but a new one has started and I’d like to take a moment to thank the people I love the most for helping me see this. You all know who you are.

Epilepsy, it’s all different, so why the stereotyping?

5 October 2013

I find myself thinking more and more about epilepsy and how it affects me these days.

When people use the word epilepsy a million and one things come to mind, but the first one is of someone unfortunately on the floor. But my major problem is those of us who don’t do this but in fact have absences. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the lucky one that is just out of it for a few moments, but I’m also the one that goes against the stereotypes that is epilepsy. Stick with me and let me explain.

Yesterday, I strolled up to my uni and then dashed across campus as the heavens opened to attend a meeting with student support. The word ‘seizure’ was used and I found myself cringing and hating the use of this word. It produces all kinds of images all of which probably don’t meet up to what I actually do. Personally I don’t know anyone else that has epilepsy but I have read a lot of personal accounts and it seems that so many of us give them our own name to perhaps soften the blow, to make it not sound like what it is. But my main point is that every single person is different and therefore everyone’s condition is different, so why is it always given the same name?

For me I don’t know, so maybe you’d like to share any ideas and just maybe you can help me break the stereotyping of epilepsy,  it’s just one word, but it means so much.

Really? You’re epileptic? I never knew…

24 September 2013

It feels like a life time ago that I last wrote anything, so much has been going on and so many things have been swamping my mind and pulling it in all directions. But most recently the one thing that has been consuming my thoughts and keeping me awake at night is when and will my epilepsy ever be resolved?

If you knew me, you probably wouldn’t even know that I had it, because well I probably wouldn’t mention it as it’s mine, something that I have to deal with in my own way, I work on a need to know basis you see, just like 007. However, today after a trip to the hospital I came to realise that I’m actually a lot better off than some. You see my epilepsy is sort of the absence kind, I’ll be talking one moment and completely stopped the next, not for long but enough to make me forgot what I was just in the middle of saying and disorientate me a little. Clearly I was boring myself so much that my brain decided to switch itself off for a few moments and take a little nap. Or maybe I was just bored of what you were saying or didn’t want to do the washing up tonight! Apparently my brain and I have an agreement to get me out of things.

But the thing is at the moment I’m just fed up, fed up of going in and out of the hospital and being fobbed off with an increased dosage or a changed medication and a “Give that a try and we’ll see what happens” What I’d really like is to wave a magic wand and find myself reaching for the keys to my imaginary Porsche in the morning rather than running to catch the bus. I’d like to actually know what type, you know like an actual technical term, rather than “generalised,” translation: basically, we don’t know. It’s getting on for 10 years since I was diagnosed.

Before I started university I had a pleasant five years or so under control, I learnt to drive, not quite a Porsche, but I drove all the same with music blasting out like any new driver does. I went about living a normal life just taking some tablets twice a day. But then I started university and it all went pear-shaped from there. Exam stress hit me a lot harder than most, it left me all over the place pausing and mucking up in oral exams, not because I didn’t have the words in that language, but because my brain had decided that it wasn’t really feeling working in a foreign language and would rather have a little nap.

I think it’s one of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced, that moment when the last few moments are gone, like it’s just been wiped away as easily as cleaning a whiteboard and what you’re left with is nothing, you rely on who you’re with to explain to you what you were just explaining to them, weird right? Well welcome to my world.

The point of this post has drifted, just like what my mind often does, all by its own. My real point was to explain that having epilepsy is not the be all and end all. Whenever I tell someone that I have epilepsy I always receive the same response – “Really? You’re epileptic? I never knew” followed by the look of you’re a different person to what I thought. It’s a look that’s cross between surprise and scared. As if I’m fragile and they might do something to set me off. But what they probably won’t realise is that I’ve been doing what I do in front of them since I met them and they just took it as “something that I do,” a part of my personality. I’ve been classed as the ditzy one, the one that takes forever to get the joke and the one who frequently needs things explaining twice. But that’s okay, I’m fine with that, I’m use to it, after all I’m blonde and from Essex, worse things could be said.

After the hospital today I was totally drained, a blood test where they filled a good two tubes making me nearly faint (I’m not good with blood), being told that I needed an EEG scan where they’re going to connect all kind of things to my head and flash lights in my eyes and follow up appointments I left feeling like I’d had enough. I’m about to start my final year of university and it’s now of all times that they’ve actually decided to sort me out once and for all (hopefully.) But then I got home and realised that in a strange way I’m actually the lucky one. Having epilepsy has actually taught me a lot, it’s taught me to say no when they try and give me meds that aren’t pleasant. It’s taught me to know my own body and mind, to take care of myself in the best way I can, to try and manage my stress and use myself as the one that has the power to change how people perceive epilepsy. It’s not all ending up on the floor, although that is the harsh reality for many, it’s also not the reality for so many. 1 in 3 people will have some type of epilepsy in their lifetime but many have it fully controlled and lead a normal life. When I explain what actually happens to me I feel like I’m helping others in my situation if people understood the different types, there wouldn’t be such a stigma attached to one word…epilepsy, say it, it won’t hurt you I swear and no for goodness sake, it is not contagious please breathe and relax. It’s something that I shied away from when I was younger but something that is now well and truly a part of me, it’s how I roll, hopefully one day it’ll be sorted, but if not I’m actually okay with it. It’s a realisation that’s just come to me and actually shocked me a little but it’s true I’m okay with having epilepsy, but the question is are you okay with it?


Love hurts

10 August 2013

It’s gone 1 am, I walk into my old bedroom, take down my cuddly toys off the top shelf, crawl back into my bed in my ‘grown-up’ room and place them all surrounding me. I’m home alone, and feeling somewhat very alone, I need some company and that has taken the shape of my childhood cuddly toys. The tears are beginning to halt and my breathing is getting back to normal, but the missing and longer feeling deep inside is not ceasing.

They say that love hurts, but I’d always taken that to mean that the people we love the most are the ones that end up hurting us, be it intentionally or not, not that on the contrary being in love hurts. That’s right, it hurts. Like I’ve mentioned before, this is my private or ‘secret’ blog, the one that I can write what I’m really feeling and perhaps what I can’t say out loud. It seems that this is becoming more and more a place where I write about love, a subject that I feel that I know little about. All that I really know is that by writing this I’m able to distract and calm myself.

The truth of the situation is this, I moved to Spain for a year and came back with more than I bargained for. I went out with the aim to come back fluent in Spanish and to immerse myself in the culture and lifestyle, I came back having achieved not only this, an accomplishment that I’m proud of, but also with a boyfriend from the city that I was studying in.

From an outsiders point of view I can see how it all sounds very romantic to fall in love in a foreign city and to continue that when borders are crossed with that love still surviving, after all love knows no distance right? You see, I’ve dated guys that I’ve met whilst travelling before and know too well the utter pain of saying that final farewell and not knowing if the hello again will come, I’ve been on the receiving end of the waiting for the hello that never comes. I’ve survived it two times, so last August when I set out on my year abroad I vowed to myself that this time I would not put myself in the position where I’d be waiting for the hello that I knew deep down would never come.

But somehow, almost 6 months later, I’ve  found myself the guy that I never knew that I was looking for, but somehow  on first meeting I knew that I would go to all lengths to ensure that this time I got my hello again…and I did.  He’s the perfect guy for me but he lives in another country. I think of my best friend who’s boyfriend lives just down the street from her and how easy that would be. Then I think of myself who is always counting down the days until the next hello and then hoping that the goodbye will not be for a long time.

Gathering my old childhood friends closer to me, I realise that the tears that have been streaming down my face so often lately are due to the fact that being apart from him is like leaving a little piece of me behind, leaving the piece behind that holds me together and keeps me strong – it’s a little piece of my heart that belongs to him. I miss him everyday even though I know he’s only a skype call away, it’s not the same, I miss his touch and his smell, I miss the way he holds my hand as we stroll along, I miss the way he makes me feel, but most of all I miss the him and me together.

With my commitment to my final year of university come late September it’s becoming closer and closer to the day that I won’t be able to skype for hours on end, I won’t be able to meet up at anytime that there’s a cheap flight, I’ll become refined to a weekend here and there and the dream of Christmas holidays.

Love really does hurt, but as much as it hurts to be away from him, I know that it would hurt a hell of a lot more to be without him completely.

Sometimes all we can do is think of the positive and smile, sometimes we just need to live in the moment and let the future follow its own path.

18 July 2013

Sometimes it’s hard to put things into words, to say what we’re really thinking, but then again sometimes that’s the time that we most need to say what we’re thinking, what’s bothering us. But what if saying the words in your head makes no sense and if saying them would only hurt the people we most care about, without any real reason.

I’ve always been told that if you haven’t got anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all, but sometimes it’s not what we say, it’s what we don’t say. It’s the stolen glance, the roll of the eyes, the tutting sound and the shaking of the head, that say exactly what we’re too afraid to say. Or on the contrary, it’s the smile that reaches the eyes, the summery laugh and the gentle touch of the face that says all that couldn’t be said.

Sometimes words aren’t necessary, or they fail us, but that doesn’t mean that we should give up, life is hard, but it’s also amazing, it provides us with opportunities that we need to be strong enough to grasp and jump on board. Life is a roller-coaster like Roland Keating once sung, but something so wonderful that the highlights make up for the lower moments.

Over the last few months, my life has given me a new direction and left me thinking more and more about the future, what do I really want? Can I really achieve it? I find myself doubting so much, but yet so happy how things have turned out. It’s a strange feeling and one that I can’t really express, even here on my second blog, the one I keep private from friends and family, it’s a place that I can be honest. But the problem is I don’t actually know how I feel, I feel a little down, but I can’t put my finger on the why and it distresses me a little. I have no reason to be sad, I’m travelling through the Alps for goodness sake! I’m having the time of my life and I’m with the guy that turned my life upside down for the better, but the one that left me worrying how I’m going to sort out an international relationship when the day comes that we move back to our own countries, I guess only time can tell.

But for now, I’m making the most of it and am positive for the two months travel through the Alps we have together, it’ll work out for the best, or at least I really hope, this time I will not ruin things, I will not let fear get in the way of love and I will keep a smile on my face even when there’s thunder and lightening right above our tent!

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