I’m An Adult?!

Today I turned eighteen.

Me? Eighteen? That can’t be right… Let me check my birth certificate, hang on… oh, turns out I am eighteen. Welp.

It’s such a scary age, isn’t it? More responsibilities, pressure, expectations. I’m supposed to be someone that I’m not; someone mature and reasonable and ready for life. I still have no clue what my life is going to become; no clue where it’ll take me or where I’ll take it. I don’t think I’m going to have an idea anytime soon.

Today, though, was a bit of fun in a world where there seems to lack it. I met up with some really good friends (ANewChapter and MyMindSpeaksAloud being two of the three that I invited) and we played cat games. Also, pizza, but unfortunately ANewChapter couldn’t stay for that. The cat games were so fun though and I had a really nice time. The non-blogger friend that came gave me some flowers, which made me feel really grown-up and mature, even though I’m not. What’s ironic is that she got me quite an immature card which contrasts with the flowers. It’s made me have an existential crisis: am I an adult or am I a kid?! She wrote some lovely words inside of the card though.

ANewChapter got me a really pretty notebook and also wrote some lovely words in the card. Too many lovely words! Luckily, MyMindSpeaksAloud was less serious and lovely in what she wrote, but it was still really nice. I mean, you can’t have three serious cards, can you? And she got me the best cat mug ever; she has really good taste. I suppose she just sees something with cats on and thinks “yup, Lia will like this” — and she’s right!

I got an iPad today, my first ever iProduct, and it’s really cool. MyMindSpeaksAloud, being an avid lover of iProducts, talked me through some of the settings. I also got a lovely dress which I wore today (yes, that was a birthday present, people who came to my house) and two cat-themed games, which I played with my friends. Plus £100 from my Nan, who apparently only gave my brother £60 for his 18th. My aunt only gave me £25 whilst she gave my brother £30 for his 18th though. That sorta makes up for it… Ish. If you take away the extra £35.

It was a fun day and I think my friends bonded, because MyMindSpeaksAloud hadn’t met the others before (though knew one from blogging, of course) and told me about how nice they were after.

My brother tagged my present from him (Exploding Kittens; card game) with the words: “You’re an adult!!! Now act like one”. That seemed like a very brotherly thing to say. I love him anyway, even if he does annoy me a lot sometimes…

Moving on, I just wanted to say that these eighteen years have been so mixed. Some years were great, some years weren’t so great, but in the end, I have three amazing friends who I don’t see as often as I’d like, but who I care a lot about. They’re the type of friends that you can go ages without seeing and just pick up where you left off when you do see them though, and that’s just awesome. Two of them are already eighteen and one will be eighteen very soon. We’re all growing up and heading in different directions. Two are going to uni, the other two of us are chilling for a while. It’s amazing how people extend into different directions in life. What makes people take those different turns? Why do some people end up as artists and others end up as accountants? (Referencing my parents and their very different lifestyle choices). It’s amazing how we all begin very similar and we end up totally different.

I’m eighteen now, but I definitely don’t feel it, and that’s okay. You might not feel your age either, and you might never feel your age, but age is only your biological factor; it doesn’t mean a thing about your psychology. You can be whatever age you want to be, if you believe it.

Thank you for reading this post,

Sincerely, 

An adult.

A Letter to a Friend

Dear Queen, as I’m going to call you in this letter,

I know you’re struggling right now, which is why you’re distant and barely reachable. I know you don’t have any plans. I know you feel like nothing interests you at the moment. I know you feel low and stressed. I know you’re scared. I want you to know that you are not the only one who doesn’t know what to become.

You’re the smartest girl I know, and I always wondered why you’d cry before exams when you always aced them. But I know why: you were stressed and you put so much pressure on yourself to do well that it all got too much.  You might be doubting yourself but I don’t doubt you.

I, too, am afraid of the future. I, too, struggle to find my ambition. I’m not going to university next year either. If you want to talk to anyone about this, talk to me, because I know what you’re going through. I know what it feels like to not have any clear goals. Of course, there is my writing, but realistically speaking, that’s going to be nearly impossible to accomplish.

I know you don’t talk to me as much recently, and I know you haven’t really been saying much to other people, but it’s important you remember that we all love you and we all care. You are so beautiful and fantastic and I’m so proud that you’re my friend.

Please, text me, or email me, or meet up with me sometime — you are appreciated. You are. I understand how troubling it can be thinking about your future; I’m in the same boat and sometimes I cry about it. But at least I have my writing to let my feelings loose. You really need someone to talk to, I think, though you’re scared to admit it. You’re awesome, Queen, and whilst you’re still going to doubt that, remember that no one else does.

Yours truly,

Lia

Am I Respected?

The phrase “respect your elders” gets me a lot because, although I definitely do respect them, why do we just respect them? Why are young people’s views less important than those of the older generation?

This happens to me a lot in my family. I’m the youngest person there and I try to talk but I can’t, and when I do, I get “not now” (which really means “not ever” because it’s only relevant in that space of time, it isn’t relevant later), whilst my parents can talk without anyone saying that to them.

I respect everyone and everyone’s views but I do not get why age gives your views more value. Sure, you’ve had more experience, but the younger generation have a fresher mind. Sometimes, you might miss the true meaning of something without an insight of someone younger.

I am seventeen, nearly eighteen, and I wish my opinions were as important as those of people older than me. Even my brother, only a year older, gains more respect. I think it is because he is more mature and does not have autism (he has two jobs) that he is put in a higher ranking than me. He acts his age, whilst I generally do act like someone younger, but that’s because I am different to most people and I am not as independent as others. That doesn’t mean that my views don’t matter though, does it?

I might be young and I might not be normal, but I still have opinions and I still want them to be heard.

Thank you,

Lia

Custom Domain!

As some of you may or may not have noticed, I now have a .blog domain!

I’m really excited about this because it shows what I’m about haha~

This won’t change any of the content; it just means that I look a little more… professional?

Anyway, yay! 😀

The Worst Part of My Mum’s Cancer Treatment

You might not know this, as I haven’t really mentioned it much in my blog, but when I was 13/14, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. Actually, at the time she got diagnosed, I had just started at a new school, so I had to deal with that, my own mental health & social issues, and this at the same time. It was very hard to make friends when you’re constantly worrying about your mum. I did make friends but not very quickly or easily and they were hard to find. I’m lucky I found them eventually but, as I said, I did struggle a lot as well, especially considering I can’t make friends very easily anyway!

She was actually getting a mammogram for a problem she had in her other breast. She felt so lucky that she had that problem in her other breast because it might not have been diagnosed so early if she hadn’t had that. Like I said, it was diagnosed pretty early, which was good, but obviously I still worried a lot about her. At first, they thought she would need radiotherapy, but then they changed their mind, which was good. She instead had to have a number of operations and is still having operations at the moment. A lot of them got delayed due to skin infections, which has been very annoying for her!

But none of that is the worst part of her cancer treatment: the worst part was hormone therapy. This is the drug prescribed to stop the cancer coming back. The side effects are terrible and my mum said they were “like a toned-down version of chemotherapy.” She’s very happy that she never had to endure chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but she’s still suffering a lot. Her hair is in poor condition, she’s had joint pains, tiredness, rashes, and lots of other side effects that really affect her quality of life.

She’s been on the drug Tamoxifen for three years-ish and she’s decided to come off it. It is recommended to be used for at least five years but she just can’t deal with the side effects any longer, and I agree with her decision. She’s been a completely different person since being on the drug. Her mood has been down a lot. I just want her to be happy again — and I feel that coming off of this drug will do that for her. The drug doesn’t even guarantee that the cancer won’t reoccur so, in her opinion, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. I really hope that she can come off of it soon and finally feel like her old self again!

Lia

My Five Minutes of Fame

http://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/girl-writes-poem-about-having-autism-1-7766168

This article is my five minutes of fame, I think? My local newspaper interviewed me last week and then today the article was published online and I think it might be out in print later this week.

It’s kinda awesome, in a way, apart from the terrible photograph. My dad sent off the poem and then was like “oh, by the way, I just sent off one of your poems to the newspaper” and I was like “oh cool” without thinking much of it, because honestly, I didn’t think they would respond. But they did, and now I’m in the newspaper.

You can read it if you like but, if you’ve seen my Instagram, you will already have read the poem on there. 🙂

My New Years Expectations

Usually, I’d do resolutions, which are what I want to achieve each year, but I never achieve them and it just makes me feel rubbish, so instead, I’m going to do my expectations! This is what I expect out of the year, instead of what I want to achieve.

  • I expect to get through my last remaining a-level, and to get an alright grade. If this was resolutions, I’d say I want an A, but for expectations, I expect a B. 🙂
  • I expect to feel rubbish some of the time, but that’s okay. That is okay. I cannot go through the entire year without feeling some sadness.
  • I expect to have my 18th with my family and friends. I want to forget the fact that I’m gonna be an adult and play board games and have pizza like a kid!
  • I expect my pets to be there throughout the year, making me feel good when I might feel down!
  • I expect it to be a better year than last year. Honestly, tomorrow, A Monster Calls is coming out in cinemas — if that isn’t a great start to the year, then I don’t know what is!
  • I expect to start writing more again. I’ve kind of been doing a lot of poetry recently on my Instagram (of the same name as my blog), but I haven’t been doing a lot of stories! I think I will pick up the story-writing pen again soon! 🙂
  • I expect to continue going to a group I’ve been going to and to enjoy most of it.
  • I expect to continue blogging, and to also get a custom domain — hopefully very soon! 🙂

    Thank you for reading!
    What are your expectations for the year?

    Lia

When I Was Younger

When I was younger, one time I went to my aunt’s house (probably for Christmas, as is the tradition), and my cousin’s boyfriend-at-the-time was there. He was a vegan and I’d never met a real-life vegan before. I didn’t understand veganism. Why on Earth would anyone choose tofu over bacon? I was definitely a lover of meat and a lover of cakes. I was your typical kid! Also, why was he not sitting on the perfectly-comfortable leather sofa?

Gradually, as the years went on, I realised that he wasn’t from an alien race. He just had different beliefs. I became a vegetarian one year, vegan the next, because of my beliefs. My brother and my dad eat meat and I’m okay with that, so when a friend apologises to me for eating meat in front of me, I’m used to it, and they shouldn’t be apologising. I want to get rid of the barrier that’s blocking meat-eaters and vegans. I want to hang with someone without having to explain why I’m not eating the same things as them. I want our beliefs to be separate and not to get mixed up, because that causes me tension. When people question my beliefs, I want to just shut my ears!

It. is. my. choice. 

Also, please don’t think negatively of all vegans because a few have pushed their beliefs strongly onto you and you’re sick of it. Living with meat-eaters, if I strangled them every time they ate meat, it’d be a daily habit! I don’t mind that they eat meat either. Obviously, I’d prefer it if I lived in a vegan household, for dinner conveniences, but them eating meat: that is their choice. I’m not going to blow up their choice and they shouldn’t blow up mine.

We make choices everyday. We have different beliefs. Yet, we continue as one society. Isn’t that something to be savoured, not destroyed? Terrorism is saying there is only one way to live, and that isn’t true. I believe we can all live in the way that makes us happiest. If that’s eating meat, or not, or eating cheese, or not, then just do it! I might believe one thing, you might believe another; I might cry when I think about how some animals suffer for this, you might not think about it at all — but we can live in harmony. We can live together, whatever.

I’m adopting a jaguar this year, for Christmas. Last year, it was a Snow Leopard for my birthday. I just want to make those creatures have a happy life, like us. That’s what makes me happy, so that is important. Whatever makes you happy is important too. 🙂

What makes you happy?

A-Levels: Mental Health

I’ve been struggling with the stress of a-levels for a long time now and then I realised: my mental health should come first. Having suffered with depression and anxiety for a long time, I was back into a cycle I couldn’t get out of when I started my second year. The constant change of creative writing teacher certainly didn’t help. Now, I might only be doing one a-level soon. I know, I know, only one!? It’s because I’ve been having a lot of anxiety attacks recently and we’ve been talking to the college about the stress.

You guys have to remember that, although good grades would be nice, you shouldn’t let them be harmful to your mental health.You matter and you will get through this. I believe in you! However stressful a-levels are, they will be done one day. Just remember that. Especially if you have had mental health problems in the past, I would speak to people about what the best course of action is for you. They can help you by breaking the work down or referring you to counselling or whatever you need. Just reach out if it’s all getting too much. People do care.

🙂

Lia

The Pen of Worth

When I was at first school, we all had to write in pencils, until we were deemed ‘good enough’ for the handwriting pen. Now, I was a late developer too, learning to read and write later than other kids (though once I started, I couldn’t stop!), so at first school I was probably seen as “below average”. At middle school too. It wasn’t until secondary school that my ability went anything above “below average”. I even went above average in some subjects; not maths though, never maths. I think that was an indicator of my autism. Because I thought in a different way to the set tasks, I never felt good enough and I couldn’t get the grades, throughout the majority of my life.

Let me get back to the handwriting pen. Okay, so I was a late developer, and my handwriting could not be read very easily (though some teachers who cared had learned my handwriting, like it was some new language or something), so I did not get my handwriting pen. At the end of year three, everybody else in the entire year had a handwriting pen, except me. I even lied in middle school, saying that I’d received the handwriting pen, because I didn’t want to be seen as different.

This handwriting pen seemed to symbolise how worthy you felt as a person: the earlier you got it, the better. If you didn’t get it at all? Well, you suck, don’t you? It was such a small thing but it meant a lot and that was something that knocked my self-esteem. I was never worthy of that pen when everyone else was.

Why did a pen define us? What that pen did to me, to my confidence, doesn’t mean that I wasn’t worthy of another pen. Maybe I was worthy of a different kind of pen.

Have you ever had small things knock back your confidence? If so, what?

Lia