So I've been thinking the last couple of days, thinking about this journey I'm on and what had led me to this point in my life. You know when you start thinking whether you would be in the same place you are now if you took another path, I had a path to go down but right at the last minute a path literally popped out of no where, out of the blue and I stepped on and followed it to where I am now.
Now with the end of another year I seem to find myself thinking a little philosophical, it's just something that happens at the end of every year, I hope I'm not the only one out there that does this.
So let me tell you a story, it was 2009 and I was signing up, I don't mean Job Centre I'm talking Armed Forces. I was given my application and was told I just needed to lose half a stone to join. I started running and exercising, there I was 16 years old getting myself ready to join the army. I was choosing a life that would change me forever, a life I was at the time willing to change myself for. I lost the weight but something didn't feel right I was on the edge of actually joining and it didn't feel right anymore. I cried and confessed this to my mum and she just told me it's ok, I didn't have to go if I didn't want to. I thought I would be seen as a failure, someone who walks away easily but I wasn't.
I'm glad I never because if I did I would have missed out on the one year of my life that changed me completely, physically and mentally, I'm not saying that wouldn't have happened in the army but what did happen I believe has shaped me into who I am today. I had to be strong, supportive and try not to crumble when I could have, I chose to be strong, I chose to be supportive in those times, not because I felt like I had to, I did it because I wanted to, it felt right to stay where I was in that year.
Between November 2009 to September 2010, I stayed away from everything, I tell people I took a break from further education, I did but that wasn't my goal. It's a personal thing but I stayed home to be with my mum after her divorce. Anyways in May I got this phone call from a careers adviser who told me she was ringing to tell me that 'I had been out of school for nearly a year, what was I looking on doing?' Further education never interested me so that wasn't something I was into, but she asked if I wanted to I could come in for an appointment and see what options I had. I went and I took some of my drawings. She was a lovely lady and showed me a college brochure one that had one of the best Art & Design courses and gave me the date for the open day.
I went with my mum because I was so nervous and I'd been out of any type of other human communication I was so scared, I applied but really didn't think I was going to get in. I did get in and had to borrow the tuition money from my granddad who I love and I got my college pass and photo taken. I was excited but so nervous, feeling more sick than ever.
My first day of college I remember standing there my feet at the gate screaming at myself in my head, 'walk in, go, move your feet,' I eventually did and I stood behind everyone else whilst we were told what class we needed to go to. I didn't hear my class and everyone disappeared leaving myself and Tomas another newbie who didn't hear the class room number. He now happens to be one of my closest friends even now 6 years later. We go to class and our tutor pairs us off and we have to get to know each other, this is where I meet Shanee another who I consider my best friend, how we're still friends after 6 years is beyond me. I compared her to an Oompa Loompa during the first week. (Only because of her height, calm yourselves)
Those three years spent in college were the best a person suffering with severe anxiety to have. I developed as an artist and my confidence grew more than I ever pictured it doing. During my last year of college I crashed a little a took a month out, came to Cornwall to figure out what I wanted, I was lost all of a sudden. Eventually I came home and finished college I didn't want to quit so close to finishing. College was over in 2012 and at the end of that summer I had planned and in the diary I was to spend my 21st birthday in Cornwall, unaware at that point that I would also be meeting Nick that night.
Now I go back to thinking, none of this above would've happened if I'd joined the army. I wouldn't have grown as an artist if I went, or as a writer, I could've have left that artistic/creative side of me behind, I wouldn't have met friends for life if I hadn't. Maybe I would have but they would've been different people, This thought process always gets me thinking about what if? What if I did join? I would never know but looking back and seeing all that has happened, it scares me to think it may never have been.
The message I'm trying to say is, yes you may not have had an easy ride, just look back and find that moment that could've taken your life into a different direction. I've been through some mentally challenging stuff over the last 7 years but looking at who I am today and seeing my children grow the way they are and living in the place I love with the man I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. I wouldn't change anything. Because it all got me here. Here typing away to share this with you guys.
I know some have been through worse but I've met some people in my personal life and blogging life who have been through hell and back and they have turned their lives around for the better, They're incredible people who I feel privileged to have got to known. Life is always going to throw giant balls of turd at us and it isn't about how you can move out of the way, it's about getting hit and knowing your own strength to wipe it off your face and stand up tall against it.
Does anyone else feel like the end of the year is a time to reflect and think back? Or just me?