My 2018 Review.

Dear Blog,

Well, here we are, New Years Eve and another year has come and gone in the blink of an eye. I find that the older I get, the faster time seems to pass. It’s incredibly unsettling yet empowering and with each passing month, the more I try to cram in, rejecting mundane life while I can. 
My life has taken a huge (and pretty unexpected) turn during 2018 and to be honest, I feel absolutely amazing because of it. Its pretty rare for me to feel like this at the end of the year as I’m typically full of regret, having not achieved anything I had set out to do. I know a lot of readers will be able to related to that. Anyway, here is a breakdown of my 2018:

 

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  • In January, I visited Prague and marked my 25th birthday in another country. I visited an ‘Ice Bar’ where everything from the walls to the glasses were made of ice. You were only allowed 20 minutes in the bar due to how cold it was. 

  • I also started this blog in January!

  • Nothing spectacular happened in the lead up to May which is when I became single yet again. Looking forward to entering 2019 as a free woman. 

  • The end of May saw me begin the Arctic One challenge with my goals being: Cycle 621 miles, Swim 31 miles and collectively exercise for 100 hours, all before the first of September. unfortunately I didn’t succeed. My summer ended up being more jam-packed than i realised.

  • June was a month I’d rather forget as drama and mental health consumed my family life. However I did go to my very first photo shoot with my sister and it was a much needed confidence boost.

  • July has got to be my favourite month of 2018. Not only did I win 2 return flights to Spain via the NHS but I also won a cat hamper through my local pet shop. Clove was very happy.

  • On 1st July, I cycled 75 miles with Cycle Swam around Norfolk in the scorching heat.
     
  • Mid July, I went to my first ever festival and had an absolutely amazing time volunteering. It was, hands down one of the best things I have ever experienced and I am so proud of myself for doing it on my own. Thinking back and I’m still so pumped from the whole thing. 
  • Three days after returning from Latitude, I moved into my own little house! 

  • As August came around, my best friend from uni cames to visit. Using some gift cards I had obtained at christmas (and luckily not wasted on the Ex), we visited the Harry Potter studios in Watford. That was an amazing day out and took me back to being a kid. Definitely worth the visit if your interested in the making of Harry Potter or just to see the costumes and props.

  • Later on I did another cycling sportive (Tour De Broads) with one of my friends, this time only 50 miles but we completed it in good time and got some awesome medals!

  • 8 weeks later and I boarded the plane with my family to Spain. Having originally gifted the tickets to my Mum and her partner, it was decided to turn this opportunity into a family getaway with 6 of us in tow. A beautiful place that I would definitely visit again. 

 

The last few months have slowed down and been rather uneventful. I have worked almost ever day of the christmas season so nothing to report there. As 2018 draws to a close, it is a year I don’t wish to repeat but at the same time, I have achieved so much and developed my thought process, my personality and improved my general outlook on life. I have grown up this year and with 2019 already looking promising, I can’t wait to see what I’ll be writing this time next year. 


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I Tried To Save A Life That Didn’t Need Saving.

Dear Blog,

Back in October, I went on a family holiday to Spain courtesy of some tickets I won through the NHS. You can read about my adventure here.

I have never really spoken about my career since I started this blog. I am an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) meaning I work mainly in operating theatres, either helping to put people to sleep or assisting the surgeon during surgery. It’s an amazing job yet one with little publicity. I’ve been qualified for 2 years following a 3 year degree.

So, on the fourth night of our spanish trip, my family and I were waiting for the evening entertainment to start, as we had every night previous. The standard routine was to finish our evening meal, head outside to bag a decent table and wait for the children’s disco the finish with the entertainment happening after.
The children’s disco had been the same every night. Two adult entertainers dancing with 20+ kids to the same routine every night. I had briefly watched during the previous evening but being way out of my age range, it wasn’t something I was super excited by.

I had been in the middle of a conversation with my mum when I heard one of the entertainers repeat his colleagues name over and over. I looked up to see all the children gathering around the female entertainer, who was laying on the floor, while the male one looked confused and unsure what to do. I stopped. In my head I was thinking what steps I needed to take. Being a qualified health care professional, its our duty to help the public if they need us. I have plenty of friends who have been in that situation, whether it be assisting with a car accident or someone whose injured themselves in the street. I, however, have managed to avoid any off site incidences.
I continues to watch the crowd for a few more seconds before my body went into overdrive and I found myself weaving in between tables to get to the front.

“Ask the children for some space. Check she is conscious. Ask for a glass of water if she is, Ask for an ambulance if she isn’t.”

I made it to the front and leaned in over the children to see the woman laying on the floor… Then she smiled. It had been part of the act.
As soon as I realised what was going on, I walked very quickly back to my seat, greeted by the laugher of my family as my cheeks burst with embarrassment. unfortunately for me, another table a few in front of us had witness the whole thing and were also laughing. I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me whole.

At least I tried and if nothing else, it provided a story to tell, entertained the adults and gave me some valuable experience for the future. Perhaps I won’t be so keen to help next time I see a performer on the floor.

The Career Pressure.

Dear Blog,

I have always had an issue with the way career pressure is subtly forced upon children. From the moment we go to school, we are asked about what job we would like as an adult. Usually, at 5 years old, that job is something like a bus driver or police officer. Once you reach 11 and go off to high school, the pressure really starts. You have to choice classes that will help you on your way to A levels and university. Not only this, but it is also implied that you will be in this career until the day you retire, 40+ years from now. That, to me, is terrifying.

I sort of came across my career by accident. I didn’t decide to go to university until I was 19. Before then, I didn’t see the point. I’d left school after my GCSE’s and after a year at art college, I was happy working in a minimum wage job. University only became a goal for me because of two reason: I wanted friends and a better quality of life for me and my offspring in years to come. To get to uni, I needed to complete a crash course of subjects in 1 year as I didn’t have the typical A-level’s you need here in the UK. During that 1 year, my career changed from Midwife to nurse to anything I could get my hands on (I’m stupidly impulsive). I had several University interviews but no one accepted me. It wasn’t until Clearing (a date in August where universities advertise their reminding spots on ever course with more relaxed entry requirements) where I fell into my career as an ODP.

What is an ODP might you ask?  Well, you know what a theatre nurse is? A nurse who assists the surgeon, handing over equipment? Well, that’s what I do with the added benefit of being able to also assist the anaesthetist while putting patients to sleep. It’s a great job in its early years of development. I love it, I do, but I wouldn’t say it was my dream job. I had no burning desire to do it, it sounded fun and they accepted me onto the course so I am very thankful to be where I am but I know I won’t be doing this until I retire. How could I when there are so many jobs out there I might want to try? I might want to work with animals or write books or even go back to my artist days and maybe sell a drawing or two. But this is my issue with the pressure they put into kids.

I will stand here and hold up my hand, I didn’t have a plan and you know what, you don’t have to. If I had known the stuff I knew now, I would have gone traveling for a year, taught english to chinese children, moved abroad and gone to university in Canada. No one tells you about this until it’s too late. Now I know I am only 25 and I have years ahead of me but in reality, I only have a few before I want to settle down and enter the next stage of my life.

If any teenagers who are getting stressed about exams happen to read this, please take one thing away from it, you don’t have to have a plan. You don’t have to finish school and then go to uni. Go get some life experience, do stuff your friends dream of. Go do stuff, get inspired and find your true passion in life, because I bet you it isn’t law or game design or whatever it is kids do these days.