Golden Horizons

Golden Horizons

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 CafĂ© 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.

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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.

Jake Borrett and Rufus Lakin at Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, Canada in 2016-2017 Copyright © 2016/2017- Jake Borrett and Rufus Lakin. All rights reserved.               


Purple

Purple

Purple is the shade water dazzles when the sun drips behind the horizon.

Purple is the sparkle when butterflies clap their wings as they take flight into the sky.

Purple is the scent which drifts from fresh violets in a field of blooming flowers.

Purple is a favourite tint of a friend, who is always there on the darkest of days.

Purple is the stripe of University of Hertfordshire, which I graduated from with a first-class honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.

Purple is the ribbon of Crohn’s and Colitis UK, which is one of the main charities which have supported me since I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of thirteen.

Purple is the word that haunts me during flare-ups which have hospitalised me; when I cannot get out of bed due to fatigue; when I have cried in toilets; fear; anxiety; depression.  

Purple is the colour that inspires me to write young adult fiction novels; to contribute to poetry open mic nights; to speak on the radio about living with Crohn’s disease and dyspraxia, mental health and being a young carer; to try; to succeed; to live; to thrive.

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This message remains forever truthful for ‘Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 2017’ and beyond. Thank you for your support.

Purple is the colour that inspires me...Copyright © 2017- Wallpaper Resolutions All rights reserved.    


Fireworks

Fireworks
I ignite the string and watch fireworks fly into the darkness above. They divide into red rockets, blue Catherine wheels and green sparklers. Puffs of colour dazzle the night.
‘What can you see?’ my sister asks.
At first all I can see are fireworks, but as each one flashes in my eye I can also see mortarboards hovering in Cathedral light; walking sticks digging into mountain passes; skiing across Canadian ice; sailing across burnt horizons.
I see us.
Just like fireworks, we brighten the cloudiest of skies.

Just like fireworks, we brighten the cloudiest of skies...Copyright © 2017- nickgesel. All rights reserved.    


Victories

Victories

You punched my face in the school toilets; you dismissed me during my work experience placements; you branded me as a ‘retard’ and a ‘loser’ in the highstreets, but you did not realise that like the sun in the horizon I would always rise.

You said I would fall from my bicycle and cut my face, but you did not realise I would cycle for nine kilometres around Stanley Park, Canada.

You imitated my lisp and teased my handwriting, but you did not realise my voice and words would flow over Radio Verulam and BBC Three Counties Radio, and would be applauded by professionals.

You laughed I would fail every subject, but you did not realise I would win ‘The Fletcher Prize’ for academic excellence and graduate with a First-class honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.

You predicted I would always be alone, but you did not realise I would go to the cinema with friends; play games of Articulate and Tension with my family; and could always turn to the hidden disability community in the darkest of days.

You finally remarked I would always be a failure because of my hidden disabilities, but you did not realise every victory of ours proved you wrong.

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It is currently ‘Dyspraxia Awareness Week 2017’ but whether you are reading this during the occasion or long afterwards I hope the message remains the same.

We are not dangerous, lazy, stupid people; nor are we ‘retards’, ‘losers’ or ‘nerds’. Instead, we are beautiful, bright, determined, creative, empathetic and humorous people who go on to be musicians, artists, actors, comedians, writers who achieve great success. 

I also took the opportunity to ask many others with dyspraxia and their loved ones about some of their victories. You told me you compete in county level rugby; play the drums in bands; travel around the United States of America; have passed your practical driving tests; and won certificates for your spellings.

These are our victories and I am so proud of you.

Stanley Park, Canada, January 2017 Copyright © 2017- Jake Borrett and Rufus Lakin. All rights reserved.    


A List Filled With Happiness

A List Filled With Happiness

I have recently finished reading Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive, a powerful and honest account of depression. Haig concludes with a list he calls, ‘Things I have enjoyed since the time I thought I would never enjoy anything again.’ Here are some of the things on my list filled with happiness. What is on your list?

Butterflies

Cats

My pet goldfish, Chloe and Millie

Trains

Going on long walks

Music that makes me cry, especially Hans Zimmer’s ‘Solomon’; The Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘Arrival of the Birds’ and ‘Transformation’; and Two Steps From Hell’s ‘Heart of Courage’

The patch of blue in the sky on the cloudiest of days

Laughter split over pints of Coke with good friends

Playing ‘Articulate Your Life’, which is the only game that fills me with nerves of excitement

Taking photographs and videos that will last forever

Making short films by using life’s memories

Ty Beanie Babies

Watching magic being performed

Reading unforgettable novels and poetry

Speaking on the radio

Writing

Raising awareness for hidden disabilities

Travelling, especially to Iceland and Canada

Spending time with my cousins, Rufus Lakin and Tilly Lakin

Hearing about other people’s successes through determination

Shiny one and two penny coins

My local Chinese takeaway

The wind brushing up against my cheeks

Singing out of tune in the car

Beautiful sunsets that paint the sky red, orange, purple

The Northern Lights

Stars

Water clinking against ice in a glass

Bubble baths

Chicken nuggets

When a good day feels like a week

People listening with the intention to understand

My loving family

Talking to you

The Northern Lights in Yellowknife, Canada, January 2017 Copyright © 2017- Jake Borrett and Rufus Lakin. All rights reserved.