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A Change of Plan

2:15am on Sunday 10th December 2017. My alarm goes off after we’ve had around 4 hours of sleep. I’m up first, finishing packing my suitcase and getting everything sorted. Liam gets up at 2:50. Our taxi arrives just after 3am and after the last minute stresses the day before, we were glad to be on our way.

My mum was texting me in the car asking if I was excited. I was so excited! We got to the airport in around 40-45 minutes. Straight through to security (thank you online check in) and it was wonderful how quickly we got through compared to when I’m there in the summer! All checked in and our bags through safely, it was a no-brainer… pre-flight ‘spoons was on the cards straight away with a beer for Liam. It was great, we still had 2 hours until our flight so the morning was ours. We got a few bits from Boots and had a wander around the airport.

Liam was looking out the window at all of the snow blanketing the planes and the runway. ‘You watch it get cancelled now…’ we laughed. It was now 5 minutes until our gate was open; finally – I was getting sleepy! As we expected, there was a delay. I’d been on plenty of delayed flights – it wasn’t a big deal at all. We decided that while we waited for further information we’d get some more to eat and find a warm place to sit! Costa. Perfect! Needless to say, at this point, we were both tired and we were both wanting to be in the air soon so understandably, we were snappier than a group of crocodiles at a lake party. We found another spot to relax; it’s warm lighting and elegant interior made it nice and comfortable. I set up with my book and cracked on with reading it – it was getting good so I was hooked! Liam checked up on the snow which was falling heavy and settling fast. On the overhead announcement they informed passengers that the flight to Amsterdam had been cancelled. We’d earlier bumped into Liam’s friend who was on his way to Amsterdam; I couldn’t imagine how they must have felt. We kept our fingers crossed and I continued to be lost in my book. Another announcement, the flight to Dublin had now been cancelled. Our flight was still awaiting further information which was coming at 9am. The airline had given us free refreshment vouchers worth £7.50 – winner! Some snacks for the plane! I was getting hungry, my breakfast from 4am was digested and I was ready for more fuel so I popped over to Boots. Liam fancied something warm so he grabbed toasties from Costa. I waited with my book & packet of Quavers.

When Liam came back, his face told all. ‘Babe…the flight’s been cancelled’, which was shortly followed by the same message on the announcer, except they added that we needed to make our way to gate 7. All I could think to do was cry. I felt heartbroken. I’d always wanted to go to Paris and Liam was making one of my dreams come true! The magic of Disney, our first holiday together, photos outside the Eiffel Tower – all snatched away in a few seconds. I was just absolutely gutted. It was the most special trip and I was so excited, I couldn’t believe what was happening.

We also realised we had absolutely no clue how to deal with these things – neither of us had ever had a cancelled flight. So we went where we were told to go with what seemed the rest of the airport. We got in the queue at the right time because the trail of people behind us was never ending. Two hours we were in that queue. Two hours. So I sat on the floor and carried on reading my book (I needed a distraction from a) the current situation and b) the lady humming behind us…). When we finally got to the front, we were told we couldn’t sort out the refund there, despite being told different earlier in the queue. Cue further anger and distress from Mr Batchelor and Miss Whitmore.

Now, when we were in that amazing queue, I did do one constructive thing and booked us a hotel in Birmingham for the night. It was the hotel we stayed in on our second date. So, next port of call was to make our way to the station via the airport monorail and grab our tickets to New Street Station. We arrived, checked in and made our way to the room where I had another realisation that our magical trip wasn’t happening… so I cried again…

After several phone calls sorting out our refunds and expenses, we needed a plan. So we booked a table at Jamie’s Italian (our favourite), only to later receive a call saying they’ve close early. Fabulous. So we booked a table at Las Iguanas. We were so determined not to let this ruin our time off together. Liam and I rarely get to spend full days together due to our work hours so we didn’t want to waste this time that we had.

We spruced up and made ourselves look less haggered! I wore my favourite playsuit and had glitter on my eyes. Liam wore his boots and grey jumper. We had our coats and scarves on and were ready to go. We took some photos and out we went. We got our table after a very slippy walk there and immediately took advantage of the 2 for 1 offers! 2 pitchers and 4 cocktails accompanied by our delicious food. I haven’t laughed as much as I did that night in so long!! We had so much fun together, just like that second date we had back in March. We took a snowy walk after dinner (at one point thinking we were walking into a beautiful field, only to realise there were gravestones to the left and right of us and a church right in front- oops!) and made our way back to the room. We were genuinely thrilled that we hadn’t missed the end of I’m a Celeb so we got comfy and enjoyed a wonderful night in at the hotel.

Our day had not gone to plan that day. We were not in Paris. We weren’t going to Disneyland in the morning. We didn’t have any pictures with the Eiffel Tower. But what we did have, was each other. We had the best night and had enjoyed every single second. It just goes to show, it’s not about where you are, it’s who you are with that creates the most wonderful memories.

It’s a story to tell the Grandkids one day and there is nobody I’d rather have experienced this crazy 24 hours with.

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Grateful

I am grateful.

For the hurt for it made me strong and resilient, with a zero tolerance for bullshit. For the stress of university… twice; for it led me to my achievements. I outdid my own expectations and the stresses of that hit a nerve which pushed me forwards with a great force. For the missed opportunities; for there is a reason I was led towards the path I am following today. For the opportunities which I have seized and taken in my stride. For the tasks which I have failed, they taught me self-development and reflection.

I am grateful.

For the days that I was unwilling to get out of bed through a sheer weight of depression and lack of motivation – they showed me the following day that I can heal and have my own small achievements. For the times I had a breakdown which led towards seeking the help that I needed, having the realisation that I needed.

I am grateful.

For time healing all – time has taught me more than any one person ever could. For my previous relationship for teaching me how I deserve to be treated… as well as what is completely unacceptable treatment. For my current relationship happening 7 years after I wanted it to, allowing us both to live the way we were supposed to, to find each other again at the right time.

I am grateful.

For my imperfections for they are completely unique and shape the person that I am – and they scream beauty to others regardless of my opinions. For the way that I have grown and the body and mind I have grown into over the last decade. For the people that have turned me down – you have been part of the process in realising just what’s right for me…it wasn’t you.

I am grateful.

To have had the most wonderful Nanna anybody could wish for. For my huge family. For my friends that have made me feel wanted, loved and appreciated. For my boyfriend for looking past all of my flaws. For my managers for their continued faith in my future successes. For my job and the wonderful families I get to meet. For my counsellors – past and present and helping me cope with what everyday life can throw at you.

I am grateful.

For the roof over my head and the food on my table. For the clothes in my wardrobe and my bed to sleep in. For having access to sanitary and hygiene products. For my doctor, my dentist, my optician. For the options of different shoes I have. For technology. For running and clean water.

I am grateful for a multitude of things in my life and I will continue to be grateful for anything that is dealt my way. Each and every moment, idea, experience, relationship – it tells the story of who I am. It develops a persona so unique and individual that I become proud to say what I have been through, what I have achieved and what I have not, who I have loved and who I have lost. Life is not one smooth road. It has twists, turns, hills, dips – what’s important is that we learn how to embrace the lack of smoothness in our journey and take it in our stride.

A lot of people take a Westernised life for granted and it can become easy to stop appreciating how lucky we truly are. Take a moment today to think about what you are grateful for. Make a list, a mental note, tell a friend – anything! By acknowledging what you are grateful for, you are letting in more light and inviting in positivity. Gratitude changes everything. 

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Mental Health – What they didn’t tell me.

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As a lot of you know, I’m a huge advocate for openly discussing mental health. I wanted to share some of my experiences, positive and negative. My experiences are based on suffering from depression, OCD and anxiety. I must emphasise that my experiences are unique to myself. Not everybody with the same mental disorders as me will have gone through the same as what I have. I am simply sharing some of my own stories. I am letting myself be incredibly vulnerable and telling you a lot. So then, what they didn’t tell me…

That OCD has many forms and I have had it for years. I suffer from intrusive thoughts which are a part of OCD. I plan every single aspect of my life – I cannot be spontaneous. I organise my room every night. I check I’ve locked my car door 3 times before walking away from it. I also tap the top of my window and check the boot. I panic when I don’t know where things are. I have developed compulsions for all of these behaviours and more. I have been treated awfully for these behaviours. I have been called a slut for openly discussing an intrusive thought that I had. This led me to believe that I was not normal, that I wasn’t a good person. OCD is starting to take over my life and I am trying incredibly hard not to let it. I would love to be able to lock my doors and just walk away. I would love to not analyse everything. I would love to be spontaneous. I would love to stay calm when things are out of place. I’m just not there yet.

That people will say they are ‘always going to be there’ but the reality is that they won’t. Some people like to be a part of the result but are unwilling to be involved in the process. I’ve trusted too many people when reaching out for help and support. I’ve relied on people that have let me down… massively. People have let me suffer. People have stood by and watched me struggle, knowing they have offered to help me before. I have learnt to really think about who I am reaching out to and I am confident that I have developed an incredible support network.

That depression can come and go, even in the happiest of people. I’ve always been told how bubbly, cheery and excitable I am. People probably wouldn’t associate me with having depression. Some days are great and I’m fine. I’m lively, I’m focused, I’m motivated. Other days are worse. I can’t make a decision. I can barely muster up the strength to get out of bed. I feel the weight of the world pushing my shoulders down. I feel a fog of grey completely covering my mind. I see no happiness. No positives. Endless streams of self-doubt and worry. No energy. Constant blame upon myself. Low mood and upsetting thoughts. That is my reality.

The side effects of anti-depressants. The first anti-depressants I was given were called Sertraline 20mg. They did not suit me at all. I had nausea that didn’t ever go away. I became incredibly irritable. My sleep was affected. So, I told my doctor and I was given Citalopram 20mg. They took away the nausea and the irritability. But they just weren’t strong enough. So, they upped the dosage to 40mg. They’re starting to work but my hormones are just all over the place. With also being on the pill, my emotions can go from being sky high to rock bottom. They are also not short term. I’ve been taking them for 7 months now and I’m nowhere near finished.

Sleep will become frustrating and difficult. I have had sleepless nights. I have had nights where I’ve thumped at the bed and at myself through frustration of not being able to sleep. I’ve also had hours and hours of sleep and woken up feeling like I’ve not slept a wink. Sleep for me has been hugely affected.

You will develop new behaviours that are dangerous and upsetting. The most obvious one for me is my history with self-harm. However, I also have a compulsion which leads to me physically pulling clumps of my hair out. At the time, I feel it is completely necessary. Afterwards, I look at the hair in my hand and want to cry. I have developed an addictive personality where it’s all or nothing. I can become very easily obsessed with an idea, thought or action. I have moments where I completely space out and do not respond. I have developed a habit of scratching my arms and curling up as small as possible when I feel uneasy. My mood can change so quick it’s like flicking a switch. These are all characteristics of my own mental health disorders which I am trying to overcome.

People will continue to stigmatize anxiety as being ‘cute’ or something that ‘everyone has’. My anxiety has spoilt a lot of situations for me. Unfortunately, I have been in situations where my anxiety has been made worse by toxic people. Anxiety is not feeling teary and just being cuddled by someone. It is not a case of just being quiet and shy. It is not the ‘artistic trend’ that many make it out to be. It’s feeling your chest tighten to the point you can’t move. It’s feeling like you can’t breathe and gasping for air. It’s been physically paralysed and rigid. It’s not being able to respond to anyone. It’s something I wish I didn’t have to live with.

It’s not all bad. Whilst suffering with mental health illnesses, there are so many positives that are still there. You will still be successful. You will find support links and help; it might take some time but it will happen. You will learn so much about yourself, about how your brain works. You will discover what your passions are; you will be encouraged to find something that triggers a spark in your mind. You will develop strength, courage and resilience. You will be able to tell your story with pride and power. You will come out of your struggles tough and ready to take on anything.

This is your journey. It has it’s ups and downs, more downs and more ups, but I am confident that we all have the strength inside us to beat mental illness and realise our self-worth. I am here for each and every one of you. Love, support and wishes to all of you. x

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Cerebrum.

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A celebration of my brain. I have devised a consecutive list of reasons why my brain is simply amazing. My brain, which suffers from several illnesses, continues to be impressive. It has thousands of capabilities, skills and talents – all of which I feel need the recognition.

  1. I can listen to songs that I knew the words to 6,7,8 years ago and remember all of the words.
  2. I can demonstrate a phenomenal amount of empathy, a skill I am particularly proud of.
  3. I have the ability to store knowledge from primary school right through to university.
  4. I can develop the mental strength to make the decision to rebalance my ‘happy chemicals’. I am able to acknowledge that my brain sometimes needs a bit of a push, a bit of support.
  5. I can set goals to realise a future that I want to secure. I can also alter that future as and when I want to.
  6. I can adapt to my surroundings (just like a chameleon!!) and carry myself through a multitude of situations.
  7. I can continue to develop new skills and new talents for the rest of my life. I can learn a new language, learn to play an instrument, create new platforms and continue to expand my potential.
  8. My brain is responsible for my personality and who I am. All of my quirks, my interests, my goals, my characteristics – they are all lead and influenced by the messages sent by my brain which I am bloody proud of.
  9. I’m very good at remembering where things are, my keys in particular!!
  10. I pride myself on my ability to stay organised. I remember to record all of my appointments, plans and events.
  11. I have the ability to recognise faces I haven’t seen in years.
  12. I have an incredible bank of pointless information – coming in particularly useful when I’m watching the Chase or taking part in (absolutely smashing) the pub quiz!
  13. Passwords. I can remember a lot of passwords.
  14. Dance routines – yep, I’m classing Saturday Night, the Macarena and the Cha Cha slide as iconic dance routines which I will take to every dancefloor for the rest of my life!
  15. My brain demonstrates strong awareness. It is incredibly tuned in to a variety if topics, issues and emotions.

“Her brain makes her exactly who she is. She may have some faults and bad thoughts but it’s her brain that makes her do everything she does and to me that’s what makes her perfect” – written by Liam Batchelor.

Now, I imagine you’re wondering what on earth I’ve been talking about in this post and questioning why I’m sitting here telling you about what my brain can do. Well, it’s because everybody needs to be able to take a step back and look at where your head has got you. You’re here right now in this moment, with your own feelings, your own experiences, your own interests and passions and that little control system inside your skull is what’s gotten you to this point.

It’s about realising what you are capable of. It’s about seeing what you have achieved so far and what is yet to come with regards to your own potential. It’s about not regretting a single one of your decisions. It’s about owning your opinions and staying true to yourself (in true Disney style!).

And yes, some days your brain has had enough. Some days you wake up uninspired, unmotivated and exhausted…but there’s nothing wrong with that. Look after your head and your mentality. Prioritise it as much you would your physical health for they are both equally as significant.

Give yourself some credit for the person which you have become and have complete pride in your persona. After all, according to the brain, it’s the most important organ you have!

N.B. Credit to Liam Batchelor for his contributions towards this post, thank you. x

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Told Through Tattoos

If I had to pin-point what it was that people say to me the most, it would be between ‘Stacey’s mom has got it going on’ and ‘I like your tattoos’. Now luckily for my readers, this post is going to be about the latter (I can’t imagine writing about the former would be the most gripping read). I want to guide you through my story and what’s behind each of my tattoos. I’ve got a few opinions about tattoos within society which I feel need addressing, not for myself but for others. You’ll see what I mean when I get to it! So, get yourself comfy and I’ll take you on a little journey (there’s pictures and everything). So then, as they’re going to be posted in order, I’ll begin with…

Tattoo #1 

IMG_5219 My first ever tattoo. Oh, the amount of times I’ve been asked if I regret this one. I’ll put this out there early – absolutely not. I do not regret a single one of them. I got this tattoo when I was in recovery from self harm and it was a massive step for me. The Butterfly Project was something that influenced me in a huge way. The idea was that you draw on a butterfly in the place which you have self-harmed. You can name it after a loved one. The aim is to keep your butterfly alive, thus, you stay clean. So, I thought what better way than to keep mine there forever. As a sign of recovery, as a sign of support and a sign of strength – it will always represent my journey. As I bring my sleeve down, I cannot wait to encorporate some more beautiful designs around it.

Tattoo #2

IMG_5236 My second one – ‘nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy’ – in the centre of my back. One of my all time favourite quotes by the phenomenal Nicholas Sparks. These words will always resonate with me and are words I often bare in mind. It’s the courage to carry on, to keep in mind your end goal and to remember that all of your hard work, your struggles and the challenges you face are all leading you to where you need to be; to reach your desired destination.

Tattoo #3

IMG_5237 My hibiscus flower – this ties in with number 4 and you’ll see why! One of my all time favourite Disney movies is Lilo and Stitch, which is based in Hawaii. The hibiscus flower is also a personal favourite. They are unique and they are beautiful. I always picture them in the sunshine and they bring positive thoughts. I would love to say Aloha with my feet in the sand of the Hawaiian beaches one day!

Tattoo #4

IMG_5227 ‘Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind, or forgotten’ – welcome back Lilo and Stitch! My family is amazing and a very special part of my life. My Dad being 1 of 10 means my family is bloomin’ massive! I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. My mum is my best friend. My brother is someone I look up to. My dad is simply wonderful. I am excited for the day (in the way, way future!) that I can continue to grow our lovely family and bring my mini-me’s into the world!

Tattoo #5

IMG_5239 On my right shoulder, my second butterfly. Again, I got this one in relation to my first butterfly. I wanted them to be consistent displays of art, not as a theme, but as a symbol of recognition. This time around, I contrasted from the simple black silhouette. I wanted bold, bright, beautiful, colourful and strong.

Tattoo #6

IMG_5235 (Ignore Liam’s leg in the background – evidently he wanted to be included, ha!)  ‘Strength grows from weakness’ – inspired by poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and a personal reminder for my darker days. My mental health is something I have been battling with for years and years; I’ve definitely had my fair share of difficult days and testing moments. This reminds me that during those tough times, I will grow and I will become stronger. I have survived 100% of my bad days and developed strength and resilience from each and every one of them. I am learning from my weaker moments and growing from my darkest days.

Tattoo #7

IMG_5243 In memory of my Nanna. An apricot rose – one of her favourite flowers. The flowers we had at her funeral in 2015, alongside a quotation that summed her up perfectly. ‘Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow’ – by the ever inspiring Helen Keller. My Nanna was a woman of constant positivity. If you do not focus on the negatives, you cannot see them. If you keep your gaze towards the sun, its rays will shine down on you and the shadows disappear. It’s all about maintaining that positive and optimistic outlook on life. My Nanna never wanted to worry anybody. She never gave up. She never once complained. She was taken far too soon. She wanted to remembered always through laughter, not tears. I feel this piece represents her beautifully – a treasured art.

Tattoo #8

The beginning of my sleeve!! For anyone that knows me, Drama is one of the most influential factors of my entire life. Drama and Theatre are my true passions. I’ve written in previous posts about my love for the Arts. Drama has allowed me to discover self-expression. It has given me confidence. It has given me a creative outlet. It provided a platform for my studies and my post-graduate degree. It has shaped my goals. It has grown my desire to share Drama with others. It is something which I feel I could write a book about! My Drama masks are a huge part in telling the story of who I am; my longing to perform, my wish to educate and my inclination towards sharing the Arts with the world.

Tattoo #9

IMG_5242 My beautiful little fox – created for 2 key reasons. The first – my home. A Leicester girl since ’95! My tattoos are all personal to myself and as I’ve mentioned, I want them to tell my story. My fox represents the city in which I have lived for 22 years as well as the football team I have been brought up supporting. In addition to all of that, it’s an animal which my mum loves – honestly, we have little foxes all over our house! For me, it’s a symbol of home – a reminder of my roots!

Tattoo #10

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‘If you like pinaaaa coladaaaa’. Right, no judements – you’ve made it this far, hold back the judging!! So, in Summer 2017 I went on my 4th girls holiday. I’d done Zante, Ibiza, Sunny Beach and then went to Ayia Napa. I had some of the best times of my life on these holidays – paint parties, seeing the likes of Avicii and David Guetta, Zoo Projects, Full Moon parties – the lot! And yet, I had never gotten a tattoo abroad. Now, I’m not a daftie – I didn’t stumble down the road to a bloke doing it for €10 next door to a chicken shop. I went to a decent place and paid a respectable amount. I wanted to keep it simple – I needed something to remind me of all the fun I have on my girls holidays and things like ‘Napa ’17’ were not even a consideration. So, I went for the common factor across all of these holidays – cocktails!! So I picked my favourite drink and that was that! I love it – I love that I have so many fun stories relating to my little pina colada glass. Let’s face it – I could’ve ended up with something much worse!!

So, that’s it (for now) in terms of my story through tattoos. Now, I have something I want everyone to consider. I am 22 years old, I have 2 degrees (one of which is a First Class, the other a PGCE), I’m a businesswoman and manager, I have experience in retail, education, marketing, staff development and recruitment (to name a few). If I apply for a job, and it’s discovered that I have a flower on my left shoulder, or a quote across my ribs – does that take away my skills and capabilities? Do my tattoos affect my ability to work hard towards success? My tattoos are not offensive nor explicit. Do they hinder my development? Do they make me unprofessional? Does your opinion of me change once I take off my jacket and reveal a fox on my inner arm?

What I’m getting at here is that tattoos are incredibly unique, personal and signs of artistic self-expression. Within the workplace, there still remains some archaic views upon tattoos. There is stigma still attached and the assumption that a person’s art hinder their skills set and talents. Furthermore, society remains judgemental. A lot of people have been brought up with negative views of tattoos – again, making derogatory assumptions towards people. I have seen absolutely shocking pages on Facebook, depicting tattoos as ‘violent’, ‘ugly’, ‘cheap’, calling people ‘broken’ and ‘brain damaged’. There’s even an article calling girls with tattoos ‘sluts’, ‘mentally ill’ and ‘selfish’. It breaks my heart that these pages and articles exist.

Tattoos are a way of expression. They depict beauty, personality and individualism. My tattoos tell my story. The plans which I have for my next tattoos are some that I am incredibly excited about! Trust me when I say, once you’ve had one, you will get the bug – they are addictive! I will always view tattoos with an open mind and an eye for perspective; I know that I love to tell people about my own just as much as I love to see those of others!

As always, thank you so much for being a part of my ramblings! Your support means the world – who knows, maybe a writing based tattoo could be on the cards!!

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“Aftermath”

stage black

// indicates interrupting/overlapping.

(A group of teenagers/young adults are all gathering their belongings and gradually leaving the room. There is the sound of multiple conversations occurring as they leave through different stage exits. The last 3 are William, Kia and Dr Logan although Kia cannot yet be seen. William is frantically trying to put everything into his bag, before standing up, smiling and looking to Dr Logan, whom he thanks before exiting stage right. Dr Logan and Kia remain on stage. There is an arrangement of empty chairs in a circle, and the two of them are sitting at opposite ends of the circle. There is a digital beeping from Dr Logan’s watch. The sound of a wall clock is ticking, spotlight on Dr Logan only, insinuating that he is the only one there.

Dr Logan: You don’t have to worry. We’ll tackle this together.

Kia: (head is bowed, she says nothing.)

Dr Logan: (His voice sounds awkward and slightly patronising). I bet this feels tricky doesn’t it.

(Spotlight up on Kia)

Kia: (lifts head, looks displeased, remains silent)

Dr Logan: Let’s start nice and gentle, shall we?

(pause)

Dr Logan: Were you there? Did you see it? Look…here…at me. It’s ok.

(further pause and silence)

Dr Logan: (voice is more soothing and calm) Ok. I want you to try and just close your eyes for me. Yeah? Can you do that?

(Kia is silent. Her facial expression gives the impression that she is highly offended, still displeased – as if to say “of course I can”

Dr Logan: I mean…it’s…it’s ok…you don’t have to. (He is running out of ideas.) Just… you know…when you’re ready…you can…you know…

(There is a lengthy pause, exact length is the decision of the director. This can be extended to a few minutes or simply be a case of seconds. During the pause, the clock ticking seems louder, feet are scuffling on the floor, Dr Logan clears his throat several times, looking down then up, then at the clock, then at his watch, whilst occasionally clicking his pen. Kia is more still than Dr Logan who seems to fidget a lot and seem restless and slightly impatient. Dr Logan begins to gather up his belongings, stand up and makes for his exit stage right)

Kia: (head is still looking down, arms remain folded. Mumbling) Of course.

(Dr Logan stops in front of the door, paused. There is a brief silence.)

Dr Logan: (still facing the door but looking slightly towards his left shoulder) …I’m sorry?

Kia: Of course I was fucking there. Of course I was. I was his entire fucking world, and you’re questioning whether I was there or not?!

Dr Logan: (turning around, walking back to his armchair, placing his belongings down. Sits forward, forearms resting on his legs with his hands clasped.) Kia. I don’t doubt that you were. I mean, being his little// girl.

Kia: (monologue begins relatively strong but becomes more emotional throughout as it goes on. Dr Logan is silent throughout. The sound of car brakes screeching, the doors slamming and a man shouting, begging “please no” plays before Kia starts to talk.) // I can still see it. Every. Single. Detail. It was cold and it was dark and it was everything you’d imagine it to look like. It wasn’t my fault. I was putting things in the car and we were talking. He said he was behind me…and he was. But I didn’t see them. I thought he was coming to get into the car. I tried to help but I was useless…I was so fucking useless. Why him? Why did they choose him?

(Dr Logan sits back in his seat, looking empathetic, a notebook on his lap with a pen but he remains still and silent.)

Kia: (becoming increasingly irate) It happened quickly. But, it still seemed to drag on and on and on and on. To the point where I can just…I can see it. I can see it so clearly. Just like. That. Quicker than you could blink. (pause) I had a reason, ok. These men. These disgusting, fucked up excuses of human beings had taken the one thing, the only person I had…and for nothing. (pause) Never in my life had I wished something bad upon anyone.

(Dad enters stage left and sits beside Kia. She does not acknowledge him, nor does she respond to him.)

Dad: No matter how hurt you are, Kia. No matter what people do or say, you must promise me that you’ll be the bigger person. You need to stand up and walk away. Let them be the villain.

(A caretaker enters stage left. He is old and has a sweeping brush. At first, he doesn’t realise the room is occupied. He begins sweeping. As soon as Kia starts talking again, his attention is drawn to her, as he stands in the background watching and listening.)

Kia: (becoming angrier, still. SFX of screaming, police sirens and fighting which result in Kia tightly shutting her eyes, tensing her body and flinching slightly. She bows her head.)…and after all of this has happened, everything I’m telling you, you want to know how it felt…(lifting her head) Why? That’s not going to undo anything is it! It still happened. Not to you. Not to them. Not even to me. It happened to my Dad. It doesn’t matter how I felt because it happened. And right in front of me! And now…he’s not here anymore and I’m in a lot of fucking trouble. I’m sure you’re clever enough to know how that “felt”.

(The caretaker bows his head, removes his flat-cap in respect and puts one hand on his heart. He shakes his head slightly in dismay and makes a slow exit stage left).

Uncategorized

Pep Talk.

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Today is the day you stop. You stop doubting yourself. You stop saying ‘tomorrow’. You stop making excuses. You stop saying you can’t. You stop comparing yourself to what others have done. You stop limiting your potential. You stop settling for less than you deserve. You stop living a life you know you’re not completely happy with.

Today is the day you start. You start believing in yourself. You start to seize the opportunities that shine towards you, pulling you towards their glow. You start saying ‘I can’. You start doing, rather than just saying. You start to love yourself the way others love you. You start to see challenges, not obstacles. You start to see your worth. You start to say ‘yes’ more. You start to leap, not step.

You begin to change your mindset. You change the way you see the rain; its dancing drops showing life’s unpredictability. You change your alarm – you deserve that lie in. You change relationships; no more focus lands on those who look above you when you stand directly in front of them. You change your hang-ups as you turn them to celebrations. You change your fears and turn them to achievements. You change negativity into strength. You change the way you’re facing; there’s no use looking back – you’re not going that way.

You accept change. You accept the fate of the paths which loved ones take. You accept that time moves on and it’s your responsibility to make of it what you can. You accept your past; it’s gone, it’s happened and you can’t change it. You accept that your situation is preparation for your greatest adventure. You accept that everything happens for a reason and leads you to exactly where you need to be. You accept that there is always opportunity for things to get better; that decision lies within your hands.

You plan. You plan to be happy. You plan for your own future. You plan for excitement and exhilaration to run through your veins. You plan to be the very best version of yourself. You plan to take every step it takes you reach your goal, to grab your dreams. You plan to never give up. You plan to keep going. You plan to push through the hard days with every ounce of strength that you have. You plan to be successful. You plan to make every day a story worth telling.

I refuse to sit back and let you give up on something that has been curated in your mind as something you wish to pursue. Your aspirations, your dreams, your goals – they’re all personal to you and each step is vital towards attaining your success. Be patient. Do your research. Set goals – small and huge. Don’t let anybody stand in the way of reaching that finishing line.

We’re all rooting for you. Be your biggest fan. Whatever it is that you’ve had on your mind whilst reading this, whatever you’ve been relating it to, pursue it now. Get going and smash it.

You’ll thank me, I promise.