As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on what on earth has happened this year. I realise that I’ve done a lot of reflecting recently but that’s because a lot has happened in the life of Louise! A lot has happened that I wouldn’t have done last year or at any time at all. Firstly though, I think it is only fitting to look back on the resolutions I made in January and see how many I stuck too.
1) Make it to summer at university. Therefore completing the second milestone. If you remember back to this time last year, I didn’t think I was going to make it until Christmas of my first year at university. Yet, here I am writing this blog at Christmas of my second year. So, I think I can safely say that I made it to summer at university. And I made it to my second Christmas. And I will make it too summer and I will graduate in July 2016. I am so proud of myself and I am so glad that I stuck it out.
2) Hopefully rebuild the relationship with my father. Hahaha, no. That certainly hasn’t happened. From July 2013 our relationship has been rocky (basically my 18th birthday) and then at Christmas 2013 he said some things that really upset me and hurt me. In July 2014, a week before my birthday he said some things that made me feel so upset and angry and want to give up. I’m no angry at my dad anymore, I haven’t been angry at him for some time thanks to God’s healing power but I can’t forgive him yet. I want to see him this Christmas but yet again, I don’t. I just don’t want it to turn into it being my graduation week and I haven’t talked to him.
3) To keep fighting. To stop harming and to never give in. It’s been a tough road that’s for sure. There have been many days when I have wanted to give in and stop fighting but this year I have met the best friends in the world who keep me grounded, who keep me pointing in the right direction and also God has been on my side. To stop harming possibly was the hardest thing, in the summer I hit a very low patch and wasn’t being kind to myself. I pulled through thank goodness and realised that I was more than my depression and my anxiety.
4) Make it to 50 subs on YouTube? How about 72? That’s where I am right now which is insane. Why are people watching my YouTube channel? Why are people reading my blog? I don’t know. But all I know is, I love making videos and making someone out there smile or laugh or feel better about their life. Sure, my videos aren’t great and I may never make it to a convention as a YouTuber but if I enjoy doing it?
5) Lose all the weight I’ve piled on. Hahahaha lol. Nope, that’s not happened either. In fact I’ve got worse. I’ve been ill a lot this year which has sucked plus long spells of depression which really affected my eating. Plus not being able to use my kitchen meant that I was living off of Spar food. Hopefully next year I will be able to get back into it, walking up and down the hill, making real food, exercising. That’s the plan anyway!
6) Keep a strong relationship with my best friends. I still don’t have a best friend as such. I have a group of friends who are the greatest people in my life. This time last year there were only three people who I considered ‘real’ friends. This year, I have more than that. I have friends who I can call upon if I need them. Friends who would do anything for me and I would do the same for them. Friends who I shouldn’t really be friends with but we are anyway. Friends who I love so, so, so much.
I’ve done a lot of things this year, I’ve made loads of friends this year, and I’ve really stepped out of my comfort zone. None of things I could have done by myself, God has really been working in me this year. December last year I spent all my time in my room, literally. December this year, I spend time with friends doing things. December this year, I can’t wait to get out and about. Sure I still love bed days but I’m doing more. Things still scare me but not as much as they did. I still have anxiety attacks but I can control them. I am in control (okay, I’m not but you know what I mean).
As I said in a previous blog, I’ve started going to CU this year which is a massive thing for me. Despite finding it tough at first, I am now there every Friday night ready to rock it. My friend graduated last summer and she came back to visit a few weeks ago, she saw me at CU and was very much in shock! As I had avoided it all of first year, here I am in second year living it up. Going to CU, I have made so many more friends than I’ve ever had before. I’ve learnt so much, my confidence has grown and I even seem to be becoming popular which is terrifying! I’m not popular! After CU, a group go to the pub to hang out because why not? My friends came round the other day because I needed them and we got talking about CU and going to the pub and stuff and one of my friends said, ‘I like seeing you at *insert name of pub here* because it means we get to hang out more’. I never realised that he even noticed me at the pub because I hide in the corner with my fruit cider, that one comment made me feel so loved and welcomed.
Socialising has been a big thing this semester. I have done much more socialising that I have done in my entire life, ever. I went on a weekend way, I had a bonfire on the beach, I went to a house party, I went to the church Christmas ball, I went to my first slumber party…and I’ve loved every single one. Well, maybe not the Christmas ball but that’s not the point here. God has been with me every step of the way with these things, He’s put people there who will support me and love me. He’s put people there who will look out for me. He’s given me the confidence to be able to go and do these things. He has a plan, He’s in control. I realise I said I went to my first slumber party…I was deprived as a child. So as a nineteen year old, I went to a slumber party. With films, snacks and most importantly – booze. I spent almost 24 hours at my friends’ house (I’m friends with everyone in the house) and I had such a great time. Full of laughter, tea, food and friendship. Something I’ve missed.
The biggest thing that has happened this year is friends. I have friends. Actual real life friends who I miss even though they haven’t been gone very long. There are three friends in particular who I never want to leave my life: ever. Two of them have been round my house at stupid o clock to give me hugs and just make me feel loved. They came round the other day as they bribed me with hugs if I finished my essay (which I did and submitted) so they owed me hugs. The only issue being I physically couldn’t text them which frustrated me, frustrated another one of my friends and it just kept digging at me all day. It got to about nine in the evening, I was tired and ill so I put on my onesie and got into bed. Then my friend texts me, thank the Lord he did! So I get out of bed, in my onesie and go downstairs to await the arrival of my friend. He arrives (bringing cake) and we chill, my other friend (who is his housemate and best mate) is texting my other friend asking if I still want him to come round. Of course I do! He owes me a hug! So he comes round and here my two friends are, sat in a freezing cold living room for almost three hours.
These two friends are simply two of my favourite people in the entire world. I love all of my friends, I do but there’s something about these guys that makes me feel happy, safe, protected, loved. I just know that they’re going to be around for a long time yet, not forever because nothing lasts forever except Jesus, but for many years. I’ve never really had friends, I’ve had people I hung out with at lunch or in class but not people who I could hang out with in an evening, or people I could call upon in times of need. My friends get more upset about my life than I do. Like the reason I’m staying in Aber over Christmas, they get more upset than I do. When it’s a ‘Hug Louise Day’ they get all awkward and upset when all I want is a hug to forget about the day.
And I know I said the biggest thing to happen to me this year was friends but I was wrong. The biggest thing to happen to me this year was how massively my faith has grown, how amazing God has been and will continue to be. He’s always there, always has been and always will be. I’ve called myself a Christian for a very long time but it’s only since I’ve been at uni that I can genuinely call myself a Christian. I have the most loving, caring father of them all. A father who will never leave me and who will always love me. A father who has forgiven me no matter how much I screw up. A father who welcomes me with open arms. That still excites me. A father who sent his only Son at Christmas as a baby to grow up into a man who in the end would die for us. Who would do that? He loves me so much that He sent his only Son to die for me. And for you. My friend said to me the other day that although they won’t be around for ever, God will never leave my side. That nothing can stop Him. Not the Queen, or the armies of the earth, not if I was at the depths of the deepest ocean or on the edge of the universe. God would never leave my side. God is so amazing and is indescribable, there are no words to describe Him and what He has done in my life this year. All I know is, without Him I wouldn’t have met half of my friends this year, I wouldn’t have gone into situations and I wouldn’t have grown in confidence.
This has been a really jumbly blog and I’m sorry but I’m so thankful to each and every one of you. Whether I know you personally or you’re just reading my blog. Thank you. Thank you for being in my life and helping me out. Thank you for believing in me when I needed it. Thank you for dishing out hugs at whim. Thank you for telling it to me straight. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for caring. Thank you for being a family. I don’t think I can say thank you enough. Thank you.
Oh, and one more thing… MERRY CHRISTMAS! Or if you don’t celebrate Christmas HAPPY HOLIDAYS!