2016 is about to close on us, and it’s been a long and difficult year. But in amongst those dark and difficult and lonely times, the light has shone brightly. I did make a little montage video which you can watch here <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0GSxfTPr3o> if you want to, but I just wanted to take some time for me to reflect on those good times so for when I’m in a dark hole of despair, I can remember those times I smiled.
Let’s start most recently, in fact it’s so recent it only happened yesterday.
Yesterday, I got to do the thing I love the most, whilst being in a place I’m learning to love. Yesterday, I got to dress up and act in our Carol Service at church. As you can see, I am a Fairy. And I don’t know whether you know this, but there are no Fairy’s in the Christmas story. But there was a point to me being dressed to the nines as a Fairy at church, improvising a skit and remembering ‘maybe this is the reason I did a drama degree’. It was a lot of fun being ‘this year’s Fairy’ and ‘making all the money for the shops’. It certainly put a smile on my face and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to get more drama into the church. Everyone seemed to respond positively to it which is fabulous so if I push a little harder, it might work!
This year, after months and months and months of applying for jobs, going to interviews, getting rejected, loosing hope, getting very depressed… I finally got a job. Thank the Lord! I have got a job as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, supporting students with additional needs or general support in struggling classrooms. I started working a week and a half ago, just in time for Christmas and now we’re off on our Christmas break! This job was such an answer to prayer. I had given up and then God gives me an opportunity to shine and makes it clear that this is where He wants me. Well, at least for now. I’m looking forward to going back in January and learning and growing and seeing where it takes me. The cards in the picture are all from my church family which is incredible. Receiving these made me feel welcomed and loved and a part of the church.
Talking of my new job, the above pictures are of me on my first staff do night. The one on the left is before and the one on the right is after. It was such a lovely evening and considering I’ve only been part of the team 8 days, I was made to feel welcomed and part of the group. I’m the youngest member of the team but that’s okay, I have different energies and different interests meaning we can support the students better. The staff do was great fun. With great food, drink, games and getting a bit too much information from some people! After the meal, I ended up tagging along with my boss and a couple other LSA’s to her son’s band who were playing a gig. That was fun too. Here’s to more staff dos!
In August, my youngest sister and I headed off to London to watch a show. And what a great day it was too. The sun was shining, we didn’t get lost on the tube and the show itself was incredible. We are both theatre nerds and this trip was what we both needed. The music, the choreography, the staging, the cast… everything about it took my breath away. We want to go see it again but due to monies and time constants, we haven’t been able too. And it closes in January! We’ll just have to find another show to go see next year. It does seem to be becoming an annual thing!
And this year, I did the thing I never thought I’d do. I graduated. How amazing is that? I graduated with a 2:1 degree in Education and Drama and Theatre Studies. The sun was shining, my sisters were there and I didn’t trip up on stage. I did trip however on the concourse in front of lots of people which wasn’t so fun. But yay, I graduated! I defeated all the odds to get that certificate and hopefully to inspire other looked after children that they can achieve their dreams too. I mean, there are probably those in the looked after system who can achieve Firsts but I knew I was never going to be one of those people, no matter how hard I tried. Uni was really difficult for me, academically, socially and healthily. But I made it through with the support of my family and with the support of my church family and the support of my friends. Without whom I wouldn’t be here today. So thank you.
Looking back over these memories reminds me that amongst the darkness there is light, it just gets hidden away under all the black. You just gotta search it out. Let’s just hope and pray that 2017 brings more light than darkness.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.