The Beginning of the End

I guess that you could say that today is he beginning of adulthood. I’m absolutely terrified. Today, I lost my security blanket. Just thinking about it is bringing me close to tears. I’m afraid to admit, even to you people out there in cyberspace, that this afternoon I’ve waltzed around the house singing at the top of my lungs. Of course, I was singing to hold back the tears. Distraction, and something else to think about for once. When I cooked dinner, I nearly slipped. I sang louder. I was okay.

Perhaps it’s more than just today, and it is more of an acumulation of things that has made me so upset. I’ve been starting to ‘think’ for a few weeks, and the pulling away of my warm and fluffy blanket this morning has sent my brain into spiral mode, thinking and thinking and thinking.

It would be a lie to say that some of that is not happy thinking. I remember some things and I smile, like getting drunk with a teacher and how amazing my design teacher was when I did my GCSEs. Things like getting my grade seven flute and a design student of the year award are awesome. Equally though, I hate this time of year. Summer, when you’ve been in school for 14 years, is a time of endings. It’s a time of moving on, growing up, and as of last year, it’s a time of horrible memories. But I don’t want to talk about leavers. I should, but that’s irrelevant.

I’m not leaving this year though, I left school last year, and not much will change when I go back to university to start second year. But the staff members who provided security to me  in my last few years of school and especially this time last year are going. Although we may say we go back to school for flute lessons and DofE, we know that we go back for safety, in reality. We go back to see familiar faces and to ground ourselves in knowing that however stupid adults are, there’s some who care, and when we were in school, there was someone to look after us, and if we ever really needed it, they’d be there again. But those people are leaving or have gone. As of September, we will have no reason to go back to school. We are loosing our safety blanket, and our school era is well and truly ending.

I feel horrific. I don’t want to grow up. All my life adults have let me download, pressured me, never understood me, and placed unrealistic expectations on my shoulders. I don’t want to be an adult, and I am terrified of not having those few who do care to keep me safe. People don’t want out for you when you grow your, only those cloest friends, and theh may be hundreds of miles away. Adults go it alone, and thinking about school and growing up is hurting inside.

It’s the beginning of the end. The beginning of getting old and growing up. As a kid, I used to cry on my birthday for fear of getting old and dying. That fear has never felt as real as it does now.

I’m losing the adults who care, and I’m terrified of loosing my best friend. I’m worried about her, and I wish she knew how much I care about her. I’d never tell her this, but there’s times when I hug her and I squeeze extra tight in the hope she’ll realise just how much she means to me and that I’m always here to fight by her side. She wont know, ahe probably thinks I’m clingy. Sometimes it may be because I need her to hold me tighter and to make me feel safe, but often, I’m just trying to show how much I care. Words were never my forte.

I don’t want to grow up. It doesn’t work like it does in fairytales. It’s just not that simple, and I’m not ready to face the real world yet. And I’ll never ever be able to face it alone.

I hope that forever I can keep my best friend, and we can be young together. We can be the adults for each other, taking it in turns to be care giver and taker, like we have been so often when the adults in our lives have failed us. Sometimes, we’ve cried together, but we made it. I hope that the beginning of the end, and really being an adult won’t be too scary. I left school a year ago, I turned eighteen ages ago. I should be fine. But I’ve learnt thay life is never that simple. There’s always a mountain to climb. Now it feels like I’m leaving, and it’s like last year all over again.

I need to talk. I really really need to talk. I need to take time to think and accept. I need to understand everything, not just leaving school and these teachers leaving. There’s lots of things happening to and around me right now that I need to contemplate. 
I hope it’ll be fine. I hope she’ll be okay. I hope I have chosen the right path and am doing the right thing. I hope I can smile and have fun. And if I can continue to hope, it will be fine, because without hope, we are dead.

Failure

I’m a failure. I’ve always been a failure. I’ve never been, and I never will be good enough. Even after writing this post the first time, it failed to upload and I lost it all. I’m going to try and write it again, but it’ll never be the same the second time around. It’ll never tell the same story, and now that I’ve taken time to think about it, I probably wont tell the whole truth this time. I guess that it’s another story to add to the archives for a ‘3am, curled up in the duvet, teary eyed in the pitch black darkness’ night. The irony of a post entitled failure failing to upload is huge. Maybe I shouldn’t be writing it at all.

As a kid, I always came last in sports day. I dropped out of dance and horse riding classes, and I was behind my peers in my flute lessons. I couldn’t see the normal line guides when doing neat work in class due to my horrendous eye sight and very high prescription glasses, and so I had to have special extra bold ones made so that I could write in straight lines and see them through the plain paper. I wasn’t perfect. I didn’t do everything that I was asked to do first time. I was weaker than my little brother and lost in fights. I didn’t change things that I could have changed, or stop events happening that I could have stopped. I couldn’t just fix things straight away, and I couldn’t improve the situations and things that happened around me. I was always ‘it’ in tig because I couldn’t run fast enough. I didn’t move up classes in swimming at the end of every single term, I couldn’t spell to save my life, and I used to have extra spelling classes. The only thing that I was ever really good at was academics: reading, writing, and numeracy. Despite my spelling issues, I got the highest grades you could possibly get at primary school, and an award for outstanding achievement when I left. A similar theme resonated through middle school. I’d set an expectation for my parents that I would academically always be the best.

This was an expectation that I found I couldn’t live up to. As I got older, things got harder, and people got more clever. Moving to upper school meant the start of my GCSE’s and a whole host of new, and much more talented people. Although I made it through those exams with a set of A’s and A*’s, passing the boundaries of my parents expectation, things began to change when I got to A Level.

I realised that I’d gotten to a point where unless it was academic, my parents didn’t care, and they weren’t proud of me. I got a B in one of my subjects at the end of AS, and my parents then began to take even less interest in my extra curricular activities. I began to achieve things outside of academia. Some of those I didn’t and still don’t think much of because my parents didn’t either, even though people around me commented on how good they were. But as with everything, there were some that I was proud of, and it destroyed me a little when my parents weren’t proud with me. The thing that has always stood out the most to me was my grade seven flute exam. I’ve always struggled with my flute, and been entered for exams with a previous teacher too early, with little practice and guidance. I feared them. I feared them because I always failed or nearly failed, and my parents knew that. I don’t think they ever understood why I used to still take them. That’s easy, and I know the answer to that one, but they never asked. In the early days, I was afraid of my teacher and did exactly as she said. When I got my new (and may I add, amazing) teacher, things changed. This time, when it came to my grade seven, I wanted to prove a point. She’d built my confidence block by block, and while the thought of failure still ruled me, I didn’t want to scrape through, a few marks above the pass boundary, I wanted a merit. For any decent musician, a merit isn’t much to be honest. If anything, they’ve probably grown to expect it. For me, getting that merit was absolutely everything, and I worked and I worked and I worked. I’m sure that my best friend can still remember my reaction the day that my flute teacher rang with my result, for she was sat opposite me in the corner of a little coffee shop in our home town. I was speechless, but when the information sunk in, and I got my merit, I danced and I jumped around, and nobody could stop me. I was beyond happy, and I was extremely proud of myself. I did it. I’d achieved what had seemed impossible to me. My hard work had paid off, and as soon as I got home, I ran through the door and screamed about my achievement. Neither of my parents even said well done.

I cried in my next flute lesson as I told my teacher that story. I was heartbroken. They both knew how much that exam had meant to me, yet they showed not even the tiniest bit of happiness or joy for me. It didn’t make them happy that I was happy, and that hurt. It tore a little part of me away that I know I’ll never get back, regardless of how much I try.

The long awaited A2 results day didn’t go much better, either. After months and months of expectations, pressure, stress, tears and genuine heart wrenching fear, I rang my dad to tell him that I’d gotten into university the second that I found out. I was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to tell him the good news. His response was ‘what grades did you get?’ When I replied that I didn’t know just yet, but I knew I was in to my first choice, he told me to hurry up and go and found out. My uni course needed me to get grades AAB. As it happens, I got A*AA. Of course, I was interested to see what results I’d gotten, but most of the excitement came from knowing that I’d made it to university. That’s the big hurdle of A Levels, isn’t it? They get you through to the next stage of your education, and then nobody ever really looks at them again. I cried with happiness when I opened this envelope. One, I was a little shocked that I’d managed to do so well, and I’d never have predicted such amazing results in my wildest dreams. Second though, I knew that those grades meant that not only had I achieved my dream of going to university, I’d satisfied my parents, too. There were no B grades, and so they had no reason to be disappointed in me. I knew that I’d get smiles when I got home, and that meant that I could at least pretend that they were happy about the university bit, too.

Of course, I probably shouldn’t care what my parents think, but I do. After all, they raised me. They taught me values and morals, and led me through the early stages of my life. I do care what they think, because they’re my parents. They’re important and they mean a lot to me, and as their child, I want to make them happy. I don’t want them to worry about me. I want them to be proud of me. I want to show them that their parenting has paid off, and that I’m the child that every parent wants.

Now though, failure and expectations rule my life, and I often feel like I define myself by letters on bits of paper. Teachers have always questioned why I put pressure on myself, but what they fail to understand is that actually, I don’t. It’s not a choice. Nobody in their right mind would choose to make themselves ill through stress in the way that I do. I just have expectations to live up to. There’s still a little child inside me that wants to please and make everyone around me happy, no matter how hard that is. One day though, I want to get past this. I won’t be able to do it on my own, and it’s going to take a very very long time. I know that I’ll have to change my thought process, my outlook, and both my physical and mental habits and behaviours. But I have to, because I don’t want to be ruled by a need to please, and a need to academically achieve. I don’t want to have to put heath-deteriorating pressure on myself to do well, in order to live up to the expectations that others set for me. I want to set my own expectations, and want other people to be proud of me for being who I am and doing what I do, not because of what’s written on a piece of paper. I feel like nobody is ever proud of the real me. Nobody appreciates my efforts, they just rely on the end result. Mostly though, I’d like to be proud of myself, and I’d like to be able to feel happy and proud without feeling guilty.

It’s going to take a long time to change the thoughts that I have with regards to failure, because they’re so engrained into me. It’s something that I fear, but it’s also something that I don’t like to admit that I fear. The fear of failing controls nearly every aspect of my life, from how well I do in my exams, to forming friendships, to being confident, spending too much money, getting ill and sick, not sleeping enough, not working enough, things not being organised and lined up at perfect angles to one another. I won’t stop working 12 hour days, because I will always over work, that’s just me. Just because I want to rid myself of this fear, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to achieve my absolute best at all times. What I’d like to be able to do is stop thinking ‘I’m a failure’ and instead think, ‘I didn’t get it quite right this time, but I tried my very hardest, and that’s all I can do.’

I won’t change who I am, because I’ll always be me. What I want to try and do, however, is change my attitude to success and failure. I’d like to not feel guilty about taking time out from my studies, and permanently have images swirling around my head, and a little argument in my brain about the fact that I’m not working enough. I don’t want to be so exhausted by the pressure that my life consist of only 12 hours of work, and 12 hours sleep, with nothing to break it up. It’s going to take a long time to change. I won’t be able to do it on my own. There’s so many things related to failure which I have to combat, and I can’t do it without someone to believe in me. Nobody has ever believed in me before, and nobody has ever been proud of me. I don’t care about that. Okay, that’s a lie. I do care. At least, I care right now, but I want to get to a point where I don’t. I can’t do this on my own though, because I’m afraid to fail at combating failure. I’m afraid to write myself goals, and to start working on this, because it could all go heads up. On my own, I’m not strong enough to make things better. Please help me?

I’m going to help cure cancer.

I guess that I’ve always had an awareness of cancer. From an age much younger than most, I knew what cancer was and how it affected people, and what it did to lives. When I was very young, both my Nana Winnie and Auntie Audrey died from cancer. I don’t remember it much, I was too young to remember anything about Winnie, but I remember Audrey. She lived a few doors down from my nan, and she always spoke to and played with us as kids. She gave me a lot of old coins once, and I think they’re in a pot in my nan’s bedroom now. I still wasn’t old enough to really understand, but I was sad when she died, and I used to sit and count those coins for a long time afterwards.

When I was twelve, a very close family friend who’s the same age as me was diagnosed with bone cancer. It was three years before he finally got the all clear, and even now, three years after that date, he’s still having treatment to try and fuse the bones in his legs. He’s had plaster casts, operations, and metal frames with pins. Even when the cancer has gone, it doesn’t ever go away, really. It still follows you and haunts you and impacts on your life, forever.

Recently, my mum is being tested for cancerous cells, and that worries me a lot. She doesn’t tell me much of what is going on, and I panic about her well being much more than I should. The doctor told me a few months ago when I went to see him about an issue, that although the chances are minute, there’s a chance that even my symptoms could be a sign of cancer. That thought haunts me every day, and it doesn’t go away.

If you’ve got to my age and never known anyone who’s had cancer, you’ve done amazingly well. I don’t know at exactly what point I decided that I wanted to go into cancer research. It was only a couple of years ago that I found out what pharmacology actually was, and then I was dead set that it would be my career. Somewhere in the mess that has been the past few years, I decided that I wanted to go into cancer research. Not once have I wavered from that decision. Especially with my family friend suffering for such a long time and at such a young age, cancer has had a massive impact on my life. I’m so determined to do well in my degree, because I want to make a difference. Of course, one person cannot save the world on their own, but if I can make a positive impact on the lives of others, then I will. I could never ever be a doctor or a nurse, that’s an extremely challenging profession both physically and mentally (oh, I don’t do blood or needles which doesn’t help!), so being a pharmacologist is my way of making a difference.

And then today happened. I found out that one of my ex A Level teachers has a brain tumour. When I heard this news, my panic stress induced freeze attack hit me faster than it ever has before, and I couldn’t control it. I overheated, and I fainted. Luckily, I was sat down and so I didn’t injure myself, but even I was a little shocked. Even now, I’m surprised that I reacted in such a way to the news. After all, she’s only a teacher, right?

Let me take a little side track here, for a second. Bare with me, because hopefully it will allow me to explain. Back in my last year of middle school, I had to give a fifteen minute presentation about my heroes. At the time, I didn’t really have any heroes. In the end, I chose my cousins, my friend suffering from cancer, and a random flautist that I’d never heard of but a quick google search provided me with the answers. I was very much a ‘do it on my own’ kind of person, and I still am now. I didn’t look up to anyone, because I couldn’t see anyone around me that I thought was worth looking up to. Perhaps if I’d have thought a little harder, I’d have come up with a better idea, but I didn’t want to think too hard because the more personal I made it, the more difficult it was going to be to give the presentation. Presentations are hard enough anyway, and make me panic enough anyway without me talking about something personal on top of that! Now, five years on, things are a little different. Although I’d still be horrified by having to give a presentation about my heroes, I’d have some to talk about. I don’t like the word ‘hero’ because it’s glorified. The people that I look up to and want to be like don’t deserve that title. To me, they’re more than ‘just’ heroes. They’re not drawings in a comic book. They’re real people who have made a difference to me. It’s a little difficult to put into words, but the reasons I appreciate them are very personal to me, and a little difficult to explain to the outside world. I guess it doesn’t matter anyway, because my understanding of the word hero is bound to have changed since I was thirteen.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, without revealing the whole list, that teacher is someone who would be on it. To me, she’s not ‘just a teacher’. Her name would be there in a brightly coloured pen with something along the lines of ‘nosy, laughable, caring, and can give a bloody good motivational speech!’ She impacted on my life in my A Level years more than most of you could even imagine. From the first few months of AS when I was dragged to her room in tears by my best friend because A Levels were all just too much, all the way through my grandad’s illness when she excused me from homework (I had NEVER missed a homework deadline in my life – except once when I was eleven. I had done my RE homework, but I just left it at home. I was horrified.), to my A2 mocks when I failed and she offered to give me extra tuition at lunch time, from the times that I arrived late to her lesson to sit on my own in total silence, and she asked no questions, to the hundreds of times that I stood in her room after a lesson staring blankly and on the verge of tears, desperately trying to force myself to say something that I was hiding, weather it be my friend’s eating habits, my state of panic, or something else. I never did say, and I never did tell. Until leavers. I don’t want to talk about leavers, or what happened. It’s a story I’ve told before, it’s a story that tears chunks from my heart, and it’s a story that I try my best not to think about. But what she did that night and the days that followed in order to help me cope was unbelievable. She sat next to me on that coach and held me and hugged me when all I was trying to do was ignore her and push her away, but all I really needed was someone to do exactly what she was doing. She spoke to me the next day, on DofE, to check in, and to give me one of those fabulous motivational speeches. I saw her a few days later and it was just the same. A few months later, she sent me an email and arranged to meet me for coffee in the summer holidays to check on me, to give support, and to give me one final speech before exam results day. She still emails me occasionally now. I knew she hadn’t been in school recently, and I knew she’d been ill.

I didn’t ever dream or expect that she’d have cancer.

It doesn’t matter how educated I am about the disease, what I know, or what I want to be, when there’s someone you care about that gets ill, it hits you. Hard. She may ‘only be a teacher’, but I do care about her, lots. And she cared about me. I’d like to think that she still does care about me. On reflection, I know she’ll be a fighter, and I really hope she’ll be okay. It was a shock when I heard the news. Again, I don’t have the words to describe it, I just hit freeze mode.

The news may have knocked me out today, I may not have revised as hard as I perhaps should have this afternoon.

But four hours after I was told, and on reflection, I know one thing for sure. I’m now even more determined to go into cancer research. I’m determined to do well in these exams, and this degree. I’m determined to be awesome, just like she is, and like she always told me that I was.

Wandering Wonderer

I wonder how life would have been different if my best friend had eaten her meal at leavers?
I wonder how it would be if I’d just let her not eat anything, without comment?
I wonder what would have happened if she didn’t suggest that we went for a walk and a talk in the rain?
I wonder if things would be different if my favourite teacher hadn’t caught me on the way back in, angry and crying?
I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t bothered to stop me, to calm me down, give me his jacket, and fetch me water?
I wonder if the outcome would be different if my biology teacher didn’t catch my eye on the way back in, forcing me to sit with her and asking if I was okay?
I wonder what I’d have said to that teacher if my other best friend hadn’t been sat with me, feeding me alcohol?
I wonder what would have happened if after my friend left, my chemistry teacher, sat on the other side of the table hadn’t tried to call me over?
I wonder if things would be different if I hadn’t had a silent conversation with her, trying to tell her that I couldn’t sit with my best friend in that close proximity after all that had happened?
I wonder about if when she did eventually persuade me to move, would the outcome have been different if she hadn’t clarified for certain my silent meaning, and beckoned my best friend over?
I wonder if things would be different if when I realised and tried to stand up, that teacher hadn’t grabbed my hand and pulled me back into my chair?
I wonder what things would be like if when she sat us face to face we’d have actually looked each other in the eye, instead of at our laps?
I wonder what would have happened if she hadn’t tried to obliviously rectify the mess with the words ‘You too are so close, you’re such good friends, you can’t fall out. You two need each other, and it’s leavers. What’s happened?’?
I wonder about the outcome if she’d had left it at that, and not marched us outside to ‘sort it out’?
I wonder what would have happened if when we got out there, my best friend hadn’t turned her back to me? What if I didn’t put my arms around her? What if when the chemistry teacher asked ‘So what’s going on then?’ I hadn’t answered with ‘I don’t know, because if I knew I’d have done something about it before now.’?
I wonder what would have happened if we didn’t cry?
I wonder what would have happened if my best friend hadn’t given me whispered permission to tell? What if I hadn’t told? If we’d lied, smiled, and skipped back inside?
I wonder if I would have spoken if my best friend hadn’t been clutching my hand?
I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t told her the second bit, too?
I wonder if it would be different if she hadn’t told the biology teacher, who by this point was standing nearby?
I wonder if it would have changed things if I’d been allowed to sit with my best friend on the bus, instead of at opposite ends with my biology teacher by my side, and the chemistry teacher by hers?
I wonder how that teacher would have reacted if I’d just ignored her presence instead of reluctantly leaning on her and being dragged into deep, deep conversation?
I wonder if it would have changed things if when we got off, I’d have skipped straight off to the pub with my friends like nothing had happened?
I wonder what it would have done if I hadn’t stayed until I knew she was safe?
I wonder what would have happened if I’d stuck to the intentions as I watched my best friend climb into my teachers car, and gotten drunk as I swore I would?
I wonder if the next day my best friend and I hadn’t sat on the bus to dofe and talked, things would be different?
I wonder if it would have changed things if when we got there she’d have just chosen her dinner instead of flitting around the menu for a good hour saying that she wouldn’t eat any of it?
I wonder if I’d have been as calm that evening if the biology teacher hadn’t cornered me in my bunkhouse room and checked how things were, giving me yet another pep talk?
I wonder what would have happened if they didn’t check my best friend’s food supply and make her buy more?
I wonder if things would have been different if she’d eaten all her food on dofe?
I wonder what the school would have done if she didn’t get blisters, and have to miss tour? I wonder if they’d have told her mum anyway?
I wonder if things would have changed if her mum had listened, and acted a little more appropriately?
I wonder what would have been the outcome if she did just go to uni and not eat?
I wonder if she does eat as she says she does?
I wonder if she’s going to get hospitalised?
I wonder why they didn’t just listen?

A lot of decisions were made by many on that night and the days that followed. Recently, the memories have haunted my dreams, and I can’t help but imagine how one little decision may have changed things for the better or worse.

But we’ll never know, and so we must make do with what we have, and the situation we’re in.

Everything will be okay in the end, somehow.

Into the Wishing Well

A few weeks ago, whilst away on holiday, we visited some waterfalls inside the mountain, and they were truly amazing. On that day, there was about four thousand litres of water per second, and the noise was immense. Sometimes, they reach twelve thousand litres per second. Any higher, and the place closes.

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At the highest, noisiest, and coolest chute, I threw a coin into the waterfall and made a wish. Of course, I cannot tell you what that wish was, but I can tell you that yesterday, the first part of that wish came true! I’m so shocked, and so happy, and maybe it’s time we start believing in magic again.

All we need to remember is that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

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Here’s to the future, I’m excited for what it might hold.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

The Results Are In

There’s one for animal science.
One for history.
One of them is ready for human biology.
She’s off to do art.
Another for business.
Not forgetting, two for medicine.
And me? I’m pharmacology.

Results day is over, and I’m lucky to say that my friends, those who I value the most, are in! I’m so so proud of them all! Perhaps they haven’t all got the grades that they wanted, but grades are just little letters. We’ve all made it onto the next stages of our lives, and that’s what is important.

As we move off to opposite ends of the country, I hope that we can be happy. I hope that we can remember all the little things that make us human, and not hang onto those letters that we saw on the paper this morning.

University will open so many opportunities, but we need to know that just because we open a new door, it doesn’t mean that the other one has to close.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Definition

As I slowly begin to receive emails and messages wishing me luck tomorrow, that sick feeling is sinking further and further into me. Whilst you’re all so awfully cute for wishing me luck, the constant reminder that tomorrow will confirm the path for the rest of my life is something that is difficult to escape.

Tomorrow, for thousands around the country, is A Level results day. Gulp. Although many students, including myself, try to deny the reality, there is one simple fact about tomorrow. It will define us. When we tear open that envelope and see the grades printed before us, thousands of changes happen. We don’t ask for this to be the case, it’s just the unfortunate reality of today’s society. Life choices, plans, celebrations, decisions, and unfortunately, the opinion that many adults have of you will all change tomorrow, at eight thirty.

I’m not going to lie, I’m scared. I’ve had a fabulous and busy day, laughing the afternoon away, but now I am home, the reality has set in. I’ve scurried around packing a bag with pencils, paper, previous exam results, and login details. My heart is racing, and I’ve forgotten how to breathe. It’s still over twelve hours away yet!

I decided a long time ago that I will simply expect the worst for tomorrow. Yes, that may make this evening’s panic more difficult, but I pray that it will make tomorrow’s disappointment easier to handle.

For now, I will try to relax. I’ll drink chai, put my pyjamas on, browse through some photos, and paint my nails. For those who like me are praying for sleep, knowing that they will likely lay awake all night, staring at the ceiling, I wish you luck. For those who will be at school early, hoping not to have to queue and make idle chat, I wish you luck. For those who will be avoiding eye contact with their teachers, I wish you luck. And for all those who aren’t like me, I wish you luck, too.

Tomorrow won’t be easy, and for many, it probably won’t go to the ideal plan, but that doesn’t matter. We need to remember that these are just exam results, and whilst right now, they feel like the end of the world, we cannot let them define us. I know that’s hard, and I’m sure in the morning when I’m crying into my paper, it’s not what I’ll be thinking, but we can try.

Tonight, I’m going to look for a star, and if I find one, I’m going to make a wish. I’ll wish that all of your hopes and dreams will come true, and I’ll wish for your happiness.

Try to stay positive tomorrow, and keep breathing. Be there for your friends, and try not to worry about your parents. They’re just grades, don’t let them define you, because you’re much more if a person than that.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

No Longer Alone

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe just how much your opinion about someone can change. Two years ago, I really didn’t like one of my new teachers. I found her annoying, and just couldn’t get to grips with her teaching style. As the first year of A Levels progressed, and she found out about the illness of my grandad, my opinion changed to ‘nice person, bad teacher’, and in January, when I was really struggling with her subject, and she wanted to tell my parents that I was underachieving, that opinion rapidly deteriorated to ‘good enough person, going about it completely the wrong way’. Six weeks ago, at leavers dinner, that became ‘nosy, but I like you’, and today, it changed once more. Now, my opinion is ‘you’re completely amazing’.

This of course, is the teacher that I met for coffee yesterday. However awful it made me feel, I knew deep down that saying yes I’d meet her was a good idea. At the same time that meeting a teacher for coffee in town was rather awkward, I also felt an overwhelming sense of relief upon seeing her. Since leavers, I’ve tried not to talk too much to my best friend about how I feel about what happened and her health. I’ve tried to agree with the comments she makes whilst not making too much of a commitment. I knew that this coffee would be different, because I could say exactly what I wanted to. This time, however, it would be safe. In the past, I’ve wanted to talk, but I wouldn’t for fear of letting the secret slip. Now, there is no secret. And talking made me feel amazing.

The teacher told me that at my age, her best friend went through the same thing. She told me that she felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders, and she didn’t want me to feel the same. She said that she was so proud of me for telling an adult, because it’s the one thing she could never do. She told me that moving away to university wouldn’t mean that I lost my support network, and that they’d always still be here for me. Finally, I no longer feel alone.

She told me not to worry, and for what feels like the first time ever, an adult told me that my grades don’t define me, and I’m much more of a person than those three little letters on Thursday. It’s a shame my parents can’t think that too.

I’ve still got everything crossed for Thursday though, I’m keeping busy and distracted, and I just pray that it’ll all work out okay.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Black Clouds are Looming

I may have just had a fantastic week, but now I’m home, reality is hitting, and the big black clouds are creeping closer and closer.

Not only is results day now only five days away (gulp), it’s also creeping up in conversation more and more. It’s driving me insane, and I’m really finding it difficult. I’m in a constant state of metal confusion between feeling excited, having a need to vent my frustration and fear at someone, and just wanting to hide for a very very long time.

In addition to this, I did something crazy today. I agreed to meet one of my teachers for coffee. Okay, I guess I’ve left school, so she’s an ex teacher, but still. It’s all very alien. At our leavers dinner, just over a month ago, there were a few issues. Lots of things happened, and I ended up telling a teacher about my best friends eating habits, and a few other things. It was horrifically emotional, and this teacher was amazing. Even so, that doesn’t affect the fact that I didn’t ever expect to receive an email from her. She’s just got back from a holiday, and sent an email to check I was okay and ask if I wanted to chat. So now, on Monday morning, I have to rock up in my school town, and sit in a coffee shop for an hour. Bless her, she’s doing it for the best, but that invite was NOT what I expected when I read my emails this morning. It’s definitely a bad idea. But why have I agreed to it? I’m not sure that I know that yet. There’s got to be a subconscious reason, I just wish that I could figure it out.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

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