Tag: inspiration

A Break from Your Routine.

Quote: sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.

This week I am away at Summer Theatre School. I am hoping that the break from routine will help me not to feel quite so rubbish for a while. The heat is incredible- it is almost like being abroad. I’m going to take my blog ‘annual leave’ and won’t post until the first week in August now. By then I will hopefully have lots of stories to tell, maybe even enough to fill in all the gaps from my time away!

Monday Mantra: Take some time out now and again,

An Empty Room With An Open Door – One Year at College

That’s it, my college room is empty and everything is packed up. I have officially left behind room A9 and all of its memories. This year has been the only academic year I feel I can look back on and smile. Why… I’ll tell you.

My college isn’t the biggest. We are a whole community made up of a minority- people with a visual impairment. It is a bizarre scenario where the minority becomes the majority, and it’s fantastic when even minorities within the minority are accepted with open arms. College is a plethora of different mother-tongues, religions, lifestyles and diversity. People are accepting, because we all know how it feels to be the odd one out.

Everyone is allowed to make mistakes. No one is mollycoddled or discouraged, quite the opposite in fact. You can burn your budget supermarket beans as many times as you like, as long as you don’t set the place on fire in the process there will always be someone to laugh with you about it. You mess up sometimes, and living in college is all about learning how to sort it out for yourself and avoid doing it again next time.

You can be naughty. This will never go in any college prospectus, but it’s true. Many of the students in college have been under the watchful eyes of teaching assistants for the vast majority of their school lives. The pressure this puts a student under is immense: your TA will always know when you didn’t answer question 8h of your algebra homework or misspelt ‘separate’ on page 6 of your essay. I remember the first time at college that I decided I wasn’t going to go to dinner, this is as naughty as I get I’m afraid. No one had previously said that dinner was compulsory but it was a convention I could break. Newly equipped with my new found skills in using the microwave (later advancing to hob, oven and grill techniques) I literally ate freedom for dinner.

People are a big thing. This year I’ve learnt something very valuable. I’ve learnt to let people in and to let them help me. Guess what? It is OK to need help sometimes! In college I feel safe and have established good relationships with staff and students. I feel I can go to them if something is wrong or when everything is falling to bits. I’m always being listened to. The friends who know how little sleep I am getting, so stay awake all night instead of moving me from their bed where I’ve dropped off to my own. The staff who come and sit in offices which smell like antibacterial gel with me and help me make thoughts into words. The ones who hug and the ones who have hope.

My college seems very good at taking in the people who have had it tough. There are a lot of people who have experienced things, discrimination and bullying, which no one should ever have to go through. But somehow everyone gets patched back together or at least get a few steri-strips. Watching people who had no mobility skills at the start of term fly around campus makes me buzz. Seeing people laughing and joking who at first sat silently makes me happy. Change is constantly in the air.

And me? I’ll be back in September, and I can’t wait. College is the first place I’ve been accepted as just being me and where I learnt a bit about how people work, myself included. It’s where I finally got the medical treatment I so desperately needed and where I learnt that I love to learn. Sure, AS didn’t go too well, but I have learnt a lot outside of academia which will support me next year as I focus even more on my studies. I remember my droopy self a week into the new term panicking and being comforted by residential support officer, R. He said “All people come here with baggage. It’s just a case of what’s in the bags and how best you can put them down”. Wise words, and if all I’ve done this year is learn to lower the bags then I am very happy. They are not dropped yet, far from it, but they are now more of a wheelie trolley than a 1000L backpack strapped to me. This way I can walk much further.

Thank you everyone who has been there for me this year.


Shed Some Light

a oman in UV light covered in shining glitter

“She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

“When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light.”

‘Stargirl’ by Jerri Spinelli is by far the most inspirational book I have read this academic year. It is particularly close to my heart as I read it in one go on my very first taxi journey to college. It is filled with such wonderful and inspirational passages and I am so glad I picked it up. As soon as I saw this picture on tumblr I instantly linked it to Stargirl, prompting this post. After finishing the book I have found myself constantly longing to become the free spirited heroine from its pages. If you haven’t read it, it doesn’t matter what demographic you are in, you must. It is a modern masterpiece.

Monday Mantra: Shed Some Light

“Storms Make Trees Take Deeper Roots”



Through bad times you find out what really matters and who is really there for you. These people will help you to be strong and stay strong once the storm has passed. The roots will stick with you for life, and so you are just that bit extra prepared for when the next storm comes. Your roots are getting stronger day by day. Things are tough. I hope my roots grow deeper.

Music: Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson

Everyone You Meet is Fighting A Battle You Know Nothing About…

A whiteboard reads "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind always."

I am a confidant. I have been for many years. People tell me things, ask me for advice and I do my best to listen carefully and give the best suggestions I can muster. I saw this quote on a support group I am a member of on Facebook and it really struck a chord with me. The amount of times people have opened up to me about their lives and what I hear completely takes me aback is massive. I also have had people say this about me when I open myself up to them. The truth is you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives, so in order to avoid being the one who says something nasty ‘today of all days’ to someone; just be nice. Just be nice fluently and use it as your default response to anything and anyone. Sometimes you get beaten around a bit by people who have not taken on this advice yet, but be assured you are most certainly in the right here. Hearts are protected by our ribs; this implies it’s expected we will put them at risk from time to time.

Have a great week.

“Don’t Count The Days, Make The Days Count”

Don't count the days, Make the days count.

It’s the holidays! With my exams done for this year it means I can enjoy the time off and relax properly. On the night I arrived home, after the regional delicacy of chip spice on chips and half a bad animated movie, my other half and I went out into the cul-de-sac. One pair of rollerblades and one pair of detachable shoe wheels later we were reminiscing our childhoods of bruised knees. We skated around the cul-de-sac (me clinging on very tightly) before deciding a cloud burst was imminent and heading back inside. It’s nice to have days to do things like this in, and I fully intend on continuing to do the same throughout this week. I will read for pleasure, play instruments because I want to and sing and dance to my favourite songs… Because why not?

In the UK it is a bank holiday today- so I very much hope you use it to do the same! Do what you love and have a great Monday!


The Man Who Wanted To Live Forever

This is a small, very flawed, poem I wrote in the waiting room of a health centre. It is about the taxi driver who got me there in his beaten up Skoda. He disclosed to me that he had found a dieting secret which he hoped would eventually earn him immortality. He went on to tell me about it, and the communities of people trying it, in great length. Crawling through the streets, fast food boxes shifting with every turn across the dashboard and the radio mumbling the news on low. Here is what happened:

The Taxi Driver

As he drives me to my appointment,

With the aim of avoiding potential disappointment,

The silence

The radio discussing inner-city violence

He starts to endlessly babble.

And in his thought stream I’m unwillingly forced to dabble.

He tells me of his new diet:

“You really should try it!”

He doesn’t know that this suggestion has hardly made my day,

Because I am actually on my way to get weighed

He continues: “All the celebrities are on it!”

“It’s making them fighting fit!”

“It’s vegan”

“The wife thinks I’m a steak avoiding heathen”

“You slice and dice, nothing cooks”

“It’s in all the top health books”

“One man did it and lived to two hundred and seventy.”

“Oh yes- still full of life, joy and fidelity!”

I begin to feel intellectually frugal

As I make a search on google.

‘Oldest man in the world at one hundred and sixteen.’

I would tell him, but why ruin his dream?

“My raw cabbage is ready for lunch!”

He’ll drop by Mcdonalds… this is my hunch.

As he pulls up to the clinic,

I feel somewhat of a cynic.

“Have a nice afternoon” I say.

“What I’d do to live forever” he laughs and drives away.

So I guess my sixpence this saturday is that inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere. Even from just a one-way chat with a taxi driver.

A picture of a torso and internal organs made entirely out of fruit and vegetables

“I’m Doing Things At My Own Pace”

'I am doing things at my own pace and that's ok' quote next to a drawing of a snail.

Good morning to the lovely people in upside down world…
At the moment I am feeling very stressed and like there is too much to do but not enough time (or energy) to do it. Last week’s exams are now over, and I am pretty sure I would like to re-sit two of my subjects next year. Believe me, I tried my best. A lot of realisations have taken place and the repercussions of which have been pretty harsh on my mind. This amounted to me falling asleep in a sociology exam. Truth is, I’m behind on eating and behind on sleeping and I didn’t have time to put it right. On telling people my re-sit revelation everyone seemed shocked. “You’ll be fine”s and “You can’t do that”s create a war field between our bodies, laptops and phones. But re-sitting isn’t the end of the world. I know it won’t be fine. I know exams didn’t go well, so I am just going to do this at my own pace with the hope that I will then be able to put all I have into everything. I am looking for the balance of getting the grades I want, being the person I would like to be and finding the happiness which I believe these achievements will bring in turn. In the long run I think it is this which will take me the furthest. Sometimes bad stuff happens, even if you have exams.

“I Know I Can Make it Through This Week”

A white page with red hearts surrounding the words 'I know I can make it through this week!'

This week is the start of my AS final exams. It’s going to be hard, but I’m trying to keep myself in the mindset of what happens… happens. At the end of the day nothing is truly failed for good- you can always try again and I know I will keep trying until I get the grades that I want. This week is also the start of my new blog schedule. See my FAQ or ‘The Weekly Menu’ box in the sidebar for more details.

Good Luck Revision Warriors!