Love & Sequins

I’ve been seeing lots of sum up the decade posts.

Love & Sequins by Gala Darling (found via galadarling.com/article/announcing-love-sequins-making-magic-happen)

It’s another name day today. I bought myself a deck from blackandthemoon.com, ordered a fit e, hugged my partner, made a chocolate matcha latte and the suddenly paused…

… I didn’t think I wanted to sum up the decade. But clearly my mind was thinking about the changes. There are some I still won’t go into, and some I feel like I’ve said a million times before. I’ll say them again though.

Moving to Brighton changed my life; personally, academically, politically, emotionally, mentally. I became a person I liked. At the start of the decade I was listening to and reading Gala Darling and trying to manifest goodness into my life. Clearly I was doing it. However, it took me a long time to realise I was doing it. My progress was at a snail’s pace. And I often stopped to cry for long periods of time. Because I still felt like I wasn’t quite the person I am supposed to be. I was really unhappy.


from fyeahsubversivekawaii.tumblr.com

I had a lot of good people in my life. I started the decade in a very dark place, and friends got me through it. Really. They opened up their hearts and homes to me. And I wish I could’ve done more to pay them back – although they would refuse it. The security and care they gave me created a base to work on myself.

I was an angry person. I probably still am in a way. And I might be angry for a while yet. I had decades of anger hidden away, and here are some of the reasons why. I was told by a medical professional this week that I am lucky. In this age of dialogue and knowledge, we are still ignoring voices:

#StopTheMop

So obviously, I was living in duel worlds. I couldn’t reconcile the child I was and the person I am. Plus, I had this idea about the person I wanted to be, or rather the person who had the lifestyle I coveted. There was a lot to unpack.


from fyeahsubversivekawaii.tumblr.com

Well, unpack I did. And I still do. I see a counsellor infrequently and finally decided to be committed to a long period of medication. I found my feet working in the alumni team and studying an art masters (which I touched on in my yearly roundup). But, you know, stuff happens and I moved to Kent.

Moving to Kent brought a lot of challenges. I felt like I had lost the Brighton identity I so dearly loved

Even though Folkestone is pretty awesome, I felt incredibly homesick. I stopped leaving the flat, I gave up socialising, I started dressing in darker plain colours all the time and I wanted to blend into the background everywhere I went. I wasn’t sure if this was depression or I was becoming the real me (a minimalist with a simple life).

I don’t have the bright bunny hair or holographic eyelids but my life feels like an adventure.

What a day

This weekend I’m seeing my family. I’m really looking forward to it.

N-N-N-N-Nineteen

It feels a bit too early to be doing a review of 2019, but as I’ve spent so long this year feeling pretty numb I figured I’d write while I feel motivated.

Health

I’ve put on more weight, but that’s really unsurprising with my agoraphobia. It got so bad at some point that I think it was impacting me two days a week. Also, I’ve felt a general change – it could be perimenopausal. I’ve got a handful of doctors appointments early next year to talk through my symptoms. If I am perimenopausal it is happening earlier than average, and the doctors I have seen have advised that the symptoms could also be a side effect of my depression but they aren’t ruling out early menopause. My allergies have been awful for the past few months – I’ve had hives regularly since October and filiform warts on five separate occasions since then. It has been due to stress an anxiety; my partner’s parents have been hospitalised three times and one of my relatives has been hospitalised once. Each time it has happened the following week I’ve gone into a mental tailspin. I thought I’d get better at managing my mental health as I’ve got older but that hasn’t been the case at all.

Work

This year I made the decision to stop working in Higher Education. I had wanted to work in education for about fifteen years – I started working in Further Education when I moved to Brighton and ending up applying to work in administration in University of Brighton for three years before I finally landed a job in the Alumni office. I loved working in University of Brighton so much and remember the years as a very happy time. I look back and them with so much joy.

I’ve never felt such a sense of belonging before, but there were changes in my personal life so I made the decision to move out of county.

It took half a year to readjust to my move. I was homesick – I still am. I wanted to go back into working in Higher Education but I don’t do well in interviews. I found out about Unitemps via a friend in a political group I was involved with. So I decided to apply to them. I always seem to get jobs easier through temping agencies and then get invited to stay on permanently. And that’s what happened last year. I worked in a nearby university but I struggled to feel like I fit in. My final job in the university was my favourite; I worked with my friend and my supervisor was wonderful! But as I got to the end of my contract I hadn’t heard about a renewal and I wondered if I wanted a new challenge.

I started my career in a not-for-profit and I was thinking about working in a type of outreach role (that way I could still be close to education, yet I’d be supporting diversity in academia – which is something I feel passionately about). A job opportunity came up which fit nicely into that box. I applied and got accepted. It has been challenging in places and I’ve learnt that although lone working appeared to be a blessing, I need people around me to stop me from hiding away.

I made the decision to apply for a second job back in academia. I am interviewing for a role next month.

Study

I completed a Level 2 Counselling course this year, I loved it. I had planned to progress to the next level but when the time came I was starting a new job, and as I know change is a trigger for me, I figured I’d wait until I settled before I continued. Then my college stopped running the course. A few months later I applied to do it in another college; the month I was due to start the college sent me a letter with my enrolment instructions and I saw the fees had increased by 50%. I questioned it and it turns out the amount quoted on the website was wrong. I wanted to do the course, but the price hike, and the reputation of the college made me question if it was the right time. I was indecisive for a fortnight, then I figured that my doubts were enough for me to put the idea on the backburner.

Masters

I had an offer to study at University for the Creative Arts, and it was an offer I was very excited about. So excited that I stood for election. The course is brilliant and I’ll probably do it in a few years, but my time during freshers week made me realise two things; one was that I was looking to relive my teenage years when I wanted to go to an art school but didn’t and the other was that I was trying to fill a Brighton-shaped hole. I am going to apply to Brighton to do the remaining modules of Inclusive Arts Practice on a part-time basis.

Creative

I have been making zines. And had a piece on why I like making zines published in a magazine. I had two essays published in anthologies. I won a poetry competition. I was rejected from every journal I applied to.

Home

I moved into my current flat a year ago. I am very happy here. Next year I may be moving again; but this time to a house with a mortgage. The prospect is equally terrifying and exciting.