Monday, 16 January 2017

Another Year, Another Us

We've all heard the expression New Year, New You, right? It's an expression that some people really dislike and some people jump onto like it's their saving grace but everyone can do what they want to. So at Safe Space we thought we would do a post that is sort of like the motto but is also slightly different. Because instead of looking at the things we can do to change our lives, instead of listing resolutions and looking to better ourselves, we are instead looking forward. We're looking and deciding where we would like to be this time next year. We want to be able to look back next year and work out if we actually achieved what we set out for. But we also just want to give ourselves an ultimate goal. So... without further ado, here is where some of the Safe Space team would like to be next year...

When I was younger I always had a plan. I knew where I was going and how to get there. This, obviously, was made easier with the education system as most of my plans consisted of going to x school and studying x subject. But honestly when it came to the wider future, what to do after school, I was always a little bit stumped. I have been through so many potential career options and now, at 26, I still do not actually know what I want from my life. So over this next year, I want to try and feel a little more settled in life. I do not necessarily have to know my career aspirations, but I just want to feel settled. Currently I just feel lost and uncertain which definitely doesn’t help my mental health.

So this time next year I want to feel better mentally, I want to have a plan or be working towards a goal. I want to feel certain or at the very least to be okay not feeling so lost. But most importantly, I mostly just want to be happy. It’s a feeling that was very fleeting last year and I really want to change that.

This year I want no medical issues. I'd like a quiet year on that front.

Of course chronic illness doesn't abide to the calendar and it can be unpredictable in its nature. It won't matter if it's still the same year, things will happen and it waits for no man, no matter what.
So saying "I want a year with no medical issues" could be potentially overly ambitious or just plain stupid because my body *never* plays fair. But I will settle for no surgery and no hospital admissions. I want to spend this year getting comfortable in my new skin, working on the current challenges I have and improving my mental wellbeing; at how well I am able to cope with having an ostomy.

I want to be able to sit here in January 2018 and reflect on what I've done and be proud. Even if I don't do huge important milestones in that time, I want to be able to look at myself and be happy.
And for the first time in five years, I'm able to feel happy about planning for the future and being able to commit myself to activities and plans. I don't fear being away from home, away from my comfort blanket of my own room and bathroom;  I am able to see beyond my disease because of how my surgery has changed my life. Even my lifestyle. I am finally able to see ME instead of MY DISEASE.
Even if I just find some peace with my lot in life, I will gladly chalk 2017 up as a success.

It’s true what they say, life really does happen when you’re busy making other plans. My life is nothing like I imagined it would be back when I was a teenger carefully mapping out my life ahead and that’s okay, because some of the best things that have ever happened to me have not been part of the plan and have just happened naturally because they needed to. So this year I want to loosen the reins a little bit and let go of my need to control everything. I’d like to be more spontaneous, letting life happen to me and just enjoy the journey more instead of being so focused on a set destination. A big part of my mental illness is about needing to be in control this can mean following a set daily routine or planning a trip months in advance but one thing I have learnt is that you can never predict what life will throw at you whether it be good or bad.

My goal for 2017 is to be more open to possibility, to say yes when opportunities come my way, and to do what I enjoy and see where it takes me. The times where I’ve thrown caution to the wind have been some of my happiest moments and have lead me down a road that I wouldn’t be on if I hadn’t taken a chance.

So here’s to a year of possibility, I can’t wait to see what road life puts me on next!

For years I have made resolution upon resolution and almost always fail at them. This year I’ve already made the decision to have no real resolution, other than to be nicer to myself. I often get upset with myself when I don’t do as well as I expected at a job or at school, or when I’m not doing what is expected of me by others. But this year I want to say ‘screw it!’ to all that and to do what I want guilt-free.

This time next year I will be halfway through my degree which is kind of scary. I’d like to pass my first year with at least a 2:1. I’d like to feel more comfortable talking about my mental health to people IRL (which I’m working on) and also my sexuality (which I’m struggling with a bit more). I’m currently in a relatively good patch with my mental health and I’d like to still be in the same kind of place with it next year. Whilst my initial instinct is to be in control about everything, I’m trying to go with the flow more now. So whilst I would like to have figured out what I want to do post-studying a little more by January 2018, I don’t necessarily need to have a clear plan. Most of all, I just want to be happy and to make sure I do want I want, and not what other people want for me.



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No judgment, no hate, because it is already tough enough being a girl.