2017 was a challenging year for me. I cried; experienced anger; my Crohn’s disease flared-up; and I was often overwhelmed with anxiety; felt extremely low on the darkest of days; and witnessed the further decline of my dad’s health due to his primary-progressive multiple sclerosis.
However, there were also many positives. Some of the highlights include:
› Travelling around Canada with my cousin. Visiting Yellowknife in January and witnessing the Northern Lights twice was incredible.
› Going on an Arvon residential creative writing course in Shropshire, which specialised in young adult fiction under the supervision of writers, Julia Green and Marcus Sedgwick.
› Winning ‘Radio Presenter of the Year’ at the Trident Media Awards at University of Hertfordshire.
› Attending the Dyspraxia Foundation’s Annual General Meeting and Conference in London, where I met so many likeminded people and won the ‘Matthew Hunt Award 2017’. I did not expect to win.
› Appearing on Radio Verulam across the year and on BBC Three Counties Radio three times.
› Contributing to a Poetry Open Mic Night at The Poetry’s Society Poetry Café in Convent Garden, London. I read ‘Oh Butterfly’ and ‘Bubbles’, which were both received extremely well.
› Most recently, passing my driving theory test with 49/50 in the multiple choice and 66/75 in the hazard perception.
› Spending time with loved ones, friends and yourselves.
I also learnt to be more confident and determined in myself; and to accept that small things such as butterflies, bubbles, golden horizons and having a good day are so important.
Resolutions for 2018
It is currently Monday 1st January 2017 as I write this article and it is uncertain how the next 364 days will go. I know there will be tough days but also unforgettable moments. Like every year though I set some possible goals to aim for.
Here are some of mine for 2018:
› To get my young adult fiction novel published with the help of a literary agent/agency.
› Pass my driving practical test as I have recently passed my driving theory test.
› As I enjoyed Canada so much, to go travelling again with my cousin.
› To do more exercise and to enjoy doing it.
› Finally complete a tandem skydive in aid of ‘Crohn’s and Colitis UK’ and ‘Dyspraxia Foundation’ after saying I would since 2012 and even perhaps before then.
› Raise lots of awareness of hidden disabilities and mental health.
I should really also add, to be kind to myself as well.
I want to end this article by thanking you. You are the reason I keep writing; keep speaking keep fighting; keep breathing. I will never stop raising awareness of hidden disabilities and mental health. It means so much more that I know you will be there with me in each dark day but also in each golden horizon too.