Bouncing Off The Walls

I’m on a happiness high right now, and I love it.

I stayed at my best friends house last night. We watched movies, we had coffee, we ate cookies and sweets and chocolate tart, we drank wine, and we laughed. We laughed more than we have done in a very long time. There were no tears, and it was fantastic.

Today, when going through the notes app on my iPad, I found a list from November 2013. It was a list of everything that my best friend had said in the few months before that which made me think that she had an eating disorder. I was trying to collect ‘evidence’ so that I could ask people for help, and eventually, tell someone. It felt really amazing to be able to delete that note whilst knowing that we’re still best friends.

Tomorrow, we’re going to WINGS, a Guide and Scout camp, to volunteer. I’m so very excited. It’s going to be awesome to spend a week together as one of the last times we will see each other before Uni. I had been so nervous before, never quite sure what would happen. Our friendship has so often been filled with tears and terror. Now though, I’m bouncing off the walls. I know that it’s going to be an awesome week (even if one mainly filled with Guide-Scout traitor debates – shes from the other side, you see). If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m ill, I don’t think I’d be able to sleep tonight.

Bring on tomorrow. Please, bring me tomorrow. I’m not sure that I can contain my excitement any more!

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

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Please Be Proud Of Me

It’s two weeks until results day.

I can safely say that I’m scared, very scared. People seem to think I’m just saying that, because I’m getting very good at laughing off the idea of results day. Inside though, I’m not laughing. Inside, I’m crying, shaking, and panicking.

A Level results day, for many around the country, will be the most nerve wracking and important day of their lives so far, as well as potentially the most exciting, too. Results mean university, which is what a lot of teenagers in the UK are currently yearning for. I’m no different, I’m desperate to go to university.

I’ve noticed that recently, my need to clean everything has increased. I’ve cleaned the bathrooms, every day I’m tidying and cleaning the kitchen, I’ve had all the furniture out of my bedroom and cleaned it all. I’m cleaning the cats room more often (that one probably isn’t a bad thing!). I’m baking and cooking, and for once I’m cleaning up after myself, trying to leave everything perfectly. I’m doing the washing, I’m hoovering. I’ve not been asked to do most of these things. I don’t need to do them either. Some of them are my brother’s chores. Many of them are done either immediately before or after my mum’s cleaning day. Initially, I thought it was my OCD kicking back in. I thought that I was getting worse, and to some extent, my little OCD-esque traits probably are getting more frequent. This time though, I think there is another sub conscious reason for all this cleaning.

I want my parents to be proud of me.

I don’t think I’ve gotten into university. I simply do not think that my exams went well, and I don’t think I’ve achieved the required grades. I’m cleaning to help my family. I’m searching and scratching around for praise. I realise that the cleaning is only satisfying if my parents thank me afterwards, or comment on how much easier its made things for them. If they fail to do this, I’m not getting the same kick from the cleaning as I would otherwise.

The problem is, of course, that I have pushy parents. If I don’t get into university, they won’t be happy. They’ll probably even be angry. That’s something that many teenagers and adults around me struggle to understand, but it is a large part of why I get stressed about results. Yes, I put pressure on myself, but I have to, because I have to meet the expectations of my parents. Last year, I got my first B, and they weren’t best pleased. My dad even asked why I hadn’t got any A stars. Because you can’t get an A* at AS Level, dad.

It doesn’t make sense, and it’s completely crazy, but somewhere deep down, it appears that my brain has concluded that if I can please my parents now, it won’t matter if results day doesn’t exactly go to plan.

I wish it was that simple.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

A letter to… My Childhood Self

Dear Alex,

Growing up is scary. There’s going to be birthdays in your childhood where you’re inconsolable because you’re worried that you’ll get old and die. It’s not dying that you have to worry about though. It’s going to be a long long time before you’re old and frail and die. Being an adult is a scary world, and you will come to realise how sheltered your life is as a child.

I’d like to say well done for being such a dedicated and truthful young person. It has got you a long way in life. Sticking through Brownies even though you hate it will allow you to develop, and one day, you’ll be a leader, and you’ll love it. You’re going to go camping, you’re even going to go on an international trip, and Guiding will provide you with so many memories.

I want to tell you to have courage, especially with your flute playing. When you go to high school, you will loath and be scared of your teacher. Try and continue to enjoy it however, because one day, when you’re older, you’re going to get a teacher who is fantastic, and you’ll learn to love playing again.

Keep working hard, it’s the best way. Don’t forget to play, and have fun, but working hard at school will lead to a good outcome for you, and you will always reap the rewards, as you do now. Do not, however, work for anyone benefit other than your own. You’re going to find that hard, but with the experience that I have now, I know that holding the opinions of my parents so highly has only led me to a path of slow self destruction over the exam period.

Try to speak out a little more. Now, friendships are easy, but when you’re older, you’ll wish that you spoke more as a child, because as an adult, friendships are much harder to make. It may be easier to hide, but you will soon know that just because it’s easy, it doesn’t mean it’s helpful or right.

You’ve done well, so far, little Alex. You will continue to do well, and there really isn’t much that I’d change about you. Your confidence will come in time, and you must remember to never loose that desire to improve. That is what will shape you into the person that you are in the future. Making mistakes is okay, as long as we grow afterwards.

But don’t worry too much, dear child. As you grow older, there will come a day when you meet the people that help you to be confident, to grow, and to believe in yourself. You’ll take on challenges, you’ll jump hurdles three metres above your head, and you’ll come out of the other side a happier and better person. Use your time now to laugh, to make friends, and to have as much fun as you can. Your years as a child will be the best years of your life. Keeping smiling that beautiful smile.

Remember that it’s always okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end yet.

Much love,

Your older self

*This is part of a personal summer challenge that I have set myself to write ‘a letter’ to a different person or thing every week. I plan for there to be nine letters in total, and if anyone would like to join in this summer, even if just for one letter, or a letter to a person of their own, please link back to my blog, as I’d love to see it!*

I’m Lost Without You

You’ve gone already, and I miss you. You’ve left. I got my results, I didn’t get into Uni, but you did, and you’ve gone, over four hundred miles away. I’m in tears every couple of hours because I miss you so so much! Please come back, please stay in touch. I’m lost without you. I need you here.

Flipping heck, I’ve no idea what has happened today. Results day isn’t even for another two and a half weeks! My best friend’s Uni start date isn’t for another 40 days. My dreams and emotions however, tell me differently. They’re all over the shot.

I know what it is, really. It’s this silly book that I’m reading. By the end of chapter three I knew that the ‘best friend’ was just like mine, and I am just like the main character. Now at the half way point, said ‘best friend’ has to move away, and they’re loosing contact. The character feels like she’s had to give up her friend. Just like me.

It feels like a reflection of my life in a few weeks time, and it makes me feel sick. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell myself that I’ve got tonnes of time with her over the next few weeks, and even if we are moving physically, it won’t change our relationship emotionally, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.

Because I’m going to miss her. I already miss her, and she hasn’t even left yet. That’s complete madness, because I know that really I’m NOT loosing her!

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

On Bees and Effs

I have a best friend. And I had a best friend, too. ‘Believing in a best friend’, though? I’m not sure that’s possible.

At Primary School, I had a best friend. I had other friends too though, and I got on with other kids, but my best friend was the one I would always choose to take on a day out or tell my secrets to.

Now, it’s different. You don’t choose your friendships, you fall into them. I fell into the friendship with the girl that I now call my ‘best friend’, but I didn’t believe it would happen. That’s just how it did happen. Again, I’ve still got other friends, and I didn’t even choose this friendship really, but I’d never change it, not for the world.

This is a response to the daily prompt.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

On Top Of The World

Today, I went to the top of the world (okay, the top of Europe, and even then, it’s not REALLY the top of Europe, just the highest accessible point if you’re no expert)…

It was beautiful.

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A shame that we couldn’t sit and relax due to all the tourists.

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I tried however to distance myself, and take just a moment to be alone. To think, to be free.

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I know that I’ll never see anything quite like that again.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

A letter to… An Alien

To Mr Alien,

I see you’ve come to earth today, but you cannot speak our language. I have however, noticed that you have a machine that allows you to interpret the written word.

Earth however, is a very strange place, and I warn you not to always take things as they may seem. People are not always kind, so don’t trust too easily. There’s a risk that they will break you with their deceitful ways.

Saying that, however, I also ask you to find those humans who you can trust, and they will show you the ways of the world. When you find that one, you may not know. It may be a long time before you come to understand the behaviours of humans. Even after all my years on Earth, I do not understand them all.

Blend in, try not to be different. Unfortunately, on Earth, different often leads to discrimination. This, for many, leads to sorrowful endings.

I hope, Mr Alien, that humans can learn from you, and that you can learn from us. Explore the world, it’s a large and fantastic place, and each area differs so much from the last. You will see war, you will see hurt, you will see disaster, but look closely, and you’ll find love, peace, and friendship. The greatest leaders are those who share these values, and are often go unnoticed, and maybe you aliens can learn from those who choose to make a difference to the world.

Good luck, Mr Alien, you’re going to need it.

From, a human.

*This is part of a personal summer challenge that I have set myself to write ‘a letter’ to a different person or thing every week. I plan for there to be nine letters in total, and if anyone would like to join in this summer, even if just for one letter, or a letter to a person of their own, please link back to my blog, as I’d love to see it!*

Saying Goodbye

I hate saying goodbye. And last week, I had to say some goodbyes that I really wasn’t looking forward to. I had to say goodbye to my guiding county, in the hope that in September, I’ll be moving to the other side of the country to go to University.

Firstly, was rangers. This goodbye was fairly easy, however I did receive a letter and two badges from the leader which made me cry. That particular leader has been amazing, and I’m sorry to have to leave, but really, I know she’s always there for advice, and it isn’t really goodbye.

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Wednesday night’s goodbyes were much harder however, especially leaving Rainbows.

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I made these cakes, which the girls loved, and I was given a vanity case. More importantly though, I got the chance to run one last singing session, and was given some photos that have already gone into my uni box. By the end of the night, with big hugs and girls hanging off my from all angles, I was nearly in tears.

But is it really goodbye? Not according to the last verse of my favourite camp song…

‘…Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm
And as the years go by
Mmm, I’ll think of you and sigh
Mmm, this is goodnight, and not goodbye’

Goodbye. It’s something that I’m going to have to practice saying. In only fourty nine days, I’ll be saying the hardest goodbye of my life. Fingers crossed though, I’ll be saying the most amazing hello of my life, too. Hello to University!

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Black

It’s crazy, because it shouldn’t have upset me like that. Ten months after he died, watching a funeral in a movie shouldn’t affect me. Yes, the fault in our stars was a very sad movie anyway, but when they were at the funeral of Gus, it upset me because I thought of him, ten months ago.

I’ve only ever been to one funeral in my life, my granddad. It was horrible, I hated every second, and it was heart breaking. So many random things bring up memories, but nothing was quite as terrible as that movie last night. The coffin, the people dressed in black, the flowers.

When I climbed into the car afterwards, and stared at the sky, my best friend asked if I was okay, before swiftly changing subject. I didn’t tell her why I was upset, because it’s not normal for that to make you upset.

As we drove past the crematorium on the way home, she told me quite bluntly that it was where they’d burnt her granddad, and she laughed. She really was trying to make light of what I imagine isn’t a lovely situation for her, either, but once more, it sparked up memories for me, too. I did all that I could not to pull over.

We made it home, we laughed on the way, and I was soon okay again. I don’t however want another reminder any time soon of just how raw those cuts still are.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

A letter to… My Ranger Leader

Dear my Ranger Leader,

You’re a crazy, amazing person, who has helped to shape me over the past four years. I’ve loved coming to Rangers, and it has helped me to grow, to develop, and to be confident.

When you started as a leader, I was apprehensive. I liked you, then I didn’t like you, and now, I love you. Once we got past the slightly awkward stage, you kept me attending Rangers at a time when I came home and cried. I hated it. But the Guiding spirit within me allowed me to hold on for long enough, and just as my fingers started to loose their grip, you appeared.

For the past year, that you’ve been leading on your own, it has been amazing. I’ve made decisions, I’ve fundraised, and I’ve done things that I never would have dreamt that I’d have been capable of doing. For that, I owe you a bigger thank you than I’d ever dare to say to your face.

Not only that, but we’ve done things! From the little things in that we now don’t just eat biscuits every meeting, to the big things, like you helping me to gain my Chief Guide Award. Now, that is something that I’m proud of. I’m ambitious, and I always wanted to do these things and work towards awards like that, but I never knew that I had the support. I didn’t know that there was anyone behind me, and with your help, I’ve done it! I’m so pleased, and I cannot wait to begin the next challenge, the next award.

Now, as I (hopefully) head off to University in September, that sadly means that I have had to leave Rangers. The next leg of my Guiding journey will begin, and once more, it’s going to be big and scary. It’s okay though, because you, and many others like you, have helped me to understand that we’re all sisters in Guiding, and you just need the confidence to say ‘hello, I’m here!’ and people will take you. Volunteers are not paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.

I hope that in the future, I can be just a good a leader to my girls as you have been to me. Here’s to that future, and don’t worry, I will sure be back to visit!

Thanks again, for everything that you have done for me.

Sincerely,

Alex

*This is part of a personal summer challenge that I have set myself to write ‘a letter’ to a different person or thing every week. I plan for there to be nine letters in total, and if anyone would like to join in this summer, even if just for one letter, or a letter to a person of their own, please link back to my blog, as I’d love to see it!*