Sad Feelings and Exam Stress

Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing okay. This is just a little update post to let you know what’s going on with me, because I’ve been rather sad recently and blogging hasn’t been quite the fun activity I want it to be.

These few weeks are very weird for me because I’m in a strange liminal space between ‘normal school’ and actual exams. I used to enjoy school a lot, especially in Year 10, but currently I just feel like I’m preparing to pass an exam. And I know that’s what I’m doing, but it still frustrates me. It makes me feel like what I’m doing is pointless. Yet the same time, I feel very very stressed about getting good grades and living up to people’s (and my own) expectations of me. And then I feel stressed about stressing when I should be revising, AAAAAH. IT IS TERRIBLE.

Other things have also been contributing to me sadness like my compulsion to read transphobic articles which make me feel bad, stressing about what to do in the future, friend group politics etc. etc. Just: a lot of things are happening right now.

I don’t know, the summer weather makes me feel better. But I’ve also been crying a lot. I’m not sure where this post is going, but the most important thing I’d like to say is that I need to take some time out. I still have some blog posts lined up, but I don’t want blogging to be a chore. I need to take care of myself, and I need to let myself not do stuff — and that includes not blogging as frequently.

But I’m still around! If you’d like to talk to me then you can of course still comment on my blog or tweet me @appletaile. Like I said, I still have some posts which will be going up soon.

 

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Q&A // books, music & more!

Green and blue watercolour splash. The words 'Question & answer' and 'twist in the taile'

Hi everyone! I’m here today with the very first Q&A that I have EVER done here on Twist in the Taile. Which is wild. If you think about it, you’re all basically experiencing a premiere right here! (Does anyone even know how I am this bouncy when I’m writing this intro despite being wiped out by work??? ME NEITHER. That is one question I can’t answer.)

Anyways, thank you so much to Jess, Holly, The Wild Man, K. Winter, and Kerstin for submitting questions — let’s get started!

books

Best book you’ve read recently? 

Probably I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan or After the Fire by Will Hill. They were both super good & well-written, I’d recommend! (Also shout-out to my library for having both of them; they’ve got in some great new YA books lately. I’m LOVING it.)

Can you read with noise or do you need silence?

Normally I read with silence, since I tend to read in the evenings before I go to bed. I can read with a bit of background noise or music but not anything super distracting.

If you were a book, which one would you be and why?

OOOOH. Oooh… I don’t actually know! I feel like I would be something like Nimona by Noelle Stevenson or the Hellcat! comics (i.e. excitable, queer, friendship, crying, feminism). Except also simultaneously Radio Silence by Alice Oseman because WOW that book speaks to me so much to be honest. It would depend on the day I’m having, really.

Have you ever gotten around to reading Juliet Takes a Breath?

No, sadly I haven’t. It looks amazing and I really want to read it! I admit that the main reason I haven’t read it yet is because it’s £17 to buy in paperback here which is very expensive for a book. I’ve been waiting for the ebook price to go down a bit more but I should really just buy it because it sounds so great.

What’s your all time favourite book?

NOOOO, don’t make me pick! I can’t decide! I’d say among my absolute favourites are When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore and Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, but I love SO MANY MORE. *cries* I CAN’T PICK.

Do you have a favourite fairy tale that you’ll read literally any adaptation of?

I regret to say that no, I do not! I used to have a book of fairytales which I loved but I don’t love one in particular anymore.

music (and musicals)

Who’s your favourite character from Les Mis?

Again, this is VERY PAINFUL FOR ME. I LOVE ALL MY CHILDREN. From more canon-y canon (does that even make sense?) maybe Marius, because he is a hilarious awkward cinnamon roll and I just. Love him a lot. But I also love so many more, especially characters who have been interpreted in awesome ways by people in the fandom like Enjolras and Cosette! (Also, like, all of Les Amis.)

And your favourite character from Hamilton?

Angelica Schuyler. 🙂 I love all the Schuyler sisters but I adore Angelica’s song Satisfied.

What grade are you in Clarinet?

I’m hoping to take Grade 8 at the end of this year… I say HOPING, I’ll have to practice more if I want to be good enough by then haha.

How do you go about making your playlists/trying new music?

This might sound kind of boring, but usually to make playlists I just kind of…sit for a while and think about songs that fit the vibe I want. Or sometimes it comes to me when I’m doing something else. If I can’t think of enough songs that way, then I’ll go through my music library and see if I can find anything else that fits.

Honestly, I’m not amazing at trying new music, but I like to follow other people’s playlists and my discover weekly playlist on Spotify. Occasionally I see other people talk about cool music and then I look them up too.

school

What GCSEs are you taking?

Spanish, Latin, History, Music, English Lit & Language, the three sciences, Maths, and Additional Maths. To be honest please send me good luck for Add Maths because it’s very difficult *cries*

What A Levels do you plan on doing?

At the moment I plan on taking Spanish, History, Maths and Chemistry. But I might change from Chemistry to Latin haha. (I went through SO MUCH PAIN in my A Levels decisions. IT WAS TERRIBLE.)

Thanks for reading! I’m not actually having a great time at the moment and revision is coming up, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post every week. But we’ll see.

what are your answers to these questions? are you having weird weather like me???

 

2017: Year in Review

Photo of a hand holding a lit sparkler, with the words '2017 year in review'

It’s that time again when everyone posts their yearly round-ups… That’s right folks, I am here with yet ANOTHER new year themed post! And slightly late! Oh well. 2017 has been a weird one for me. Even Photoshop was being weird whilst I was trying to make this picture, so clearly it agrees.

Looking back at 2017

  • To  begin with, I want to recap my goals from 2016… Firstly, I think I’ve definitely succeeded at doing more LGBTQ+ related things! I can see this concretely in that: I attended my first ever Pride parade, starting going to school LGBTQ+ society, and generally just felt a lot more positive in my queer identity. 2016 was a year of discovering myself, and I feel that 2017 has been me actually kind of living that. I mean, I still have a LOT of stuff going on (especially re: my gender which is CONFUSING) but, yeah. I’m so happy about this.
  • Secondly, I feel that have made some strides forward in making positive changes in the world. This year the podcasts Witch Please and Secret Feminist Agenda were SUPER important to me; I really do feel that they have given me hope and inspired me to strive to be a better person and ally. I also continued with my Action for Change project on LGBTQ+ history which I enjoyed a lot. 🙂 I still have a long way to go (I mean it’s kind of an eternal process) in being a good ally but I hope that I’ve educated myself more this year.
  • In terms of self-care and mental health, this year has been pretty rocky. To be frank, I’ve experienced some of my biggest lows ever in 2017. I’ve had several breakdowns and even this holiday I’ve been feeling very sad. I’ve tried to take care of myself, but I want to do this even more going forward in 2017.
  • Blogging has also been patchy. Year 11 has been hitting me harder than I’d thought, leading to me taking a hiatus, and I also haven’t been great at commenting. But you know what? That’s okay. Sometimes we don’t achieve our goals, because things change, and it doesn’t make us terrible people.
  • My most popular posts this year were LGBTQ+ History in Schools, Yes, I Love YA, and The Spring Has Sprung book tag. My collab post Les Mis v Hamilton (with Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages) from last year was also pretty popular, which is cool to see. Bonus posts: queer girl media recs and 7 #relatable clarinet things.
  • However! I have consumed some WONDERFUL art this year: I’ve continued to read many great books, got way more into podcasts, also got into comics, and of course kept listening to rad music. I am so grateful for all this art because, honestly…it keeps me going. I need art so much.

Looking forward to 2018

  • I want to do things with love. I don’t want to do some crappy ‘love saves everything’ thing because that’s just wrong, but personally I want to bring more love and care into my life. By this I mean: bringing a sense of love to caring for myself, putting in time and effort in my relationships, criticising things I love because I love them and not in spite of it.
  • Further elaborating on the theme of self care, I want to look after myself better. The next year is going to be hard and I need to practise self care ESPECIALLY when I feel bad to stop me spiralling into terribleness. I’ve designated specific phone-free times because constantly scrolling through social media does not really help me. But at the same time I don’t want self care to be a chore, so. UGH it’s hard!
  • I want to keep enjoying art! I’m super excited to be able to experience new things in 2018 — I’m seeing both Hamilton and the Cursed Child which I am EXTREMELY excited and grateful for. I hope to read some wonderful books — I am currently very excited for Alice Oseman’s book 3, hopefully out in spring — as well as comics, movies, podcasts, music, TV and so on. This also includes making my own art, which has rather been put to the back burner due to school & mental health, but nevertheless I hope to continue with it.
  • I want to make new friends & meet old ones. I hope to be attending YA Shot and YALC in 2018 and I want to meet up with bookish friends! I’d also love to make some new friends, and if possible meet some internet friends in real life because I think that’d be super cool. 🙂
  • This one is rather vague, but I want to experience new things. I have a lot of ~new and exciting~ things coming up in the future, like going to sixth form, big exams, prom, a bunch of people leaving school, my trip to Ecuador with Guides (!!), turning 17… It’s gonna be a WILD TIME, y’all.

wow that was a deep dive into my brain! how was your 2017? do you have any goals for 2018?

A Life Update #2

Hey folks! So, yeah, remember how I said I was going to try and post more? That didn’t happen. I’ve had a bunch of ideas but sadly I’ve had absolutely ZERO time over the last two weeks.

However I’m working hard at…not punishing myself for that, because I need to stop punishing myself for taking rests. One of my lovely friends told me that I seemed like I was taking care of myself, which was sweet, but I feel like I often give off the impression that I’m fine when I’m actually just not. It’s so much easier for me to practice self-care at the times when I don’t actually need it.

YEP. So: what have I been doing? And what is in store for the next little while? Well, friends, I have mostly been consumed by my school play and then frantically trying to catch up on school work. I’m not actually an actor — a few of my friends and I are members of the tech team, which means I was basically sorting out props, set, and just doing the stuff that no one else wants to do.

Instead of a big play, this was a series of 6 short student-directed plays from only my year group. It was super rewarding and I am so proud of everyone, but there was a LOT of pain and stress along the way, especially since this is the first year my school had done this so we had a massive learning curve the night before the play was due to open. *winces* I was one of the people bringing stuff on and off in between each play which sounds easy but IT WAS SUPER NOT. Also, we didn’t get much rest for about 2 and a half hours.

Yes. I had a pretty big anxiety episode when I dropped some breakable glasses and everything was going badly and just felt ALL TOO MUCH. I felt pretty sick on opening night. But, yeah, it was great when things mostly worked out.

So what’s going to be on my blog? Well, it’s the holidays fairly soon, but unfortunately I have to be revising for mocks. However I’ve got some posts planned that I am VERY excited to work on, and I hope that you’ll be excited to see them! Love you all, and thanks for sticking around. ❤

how is your december going? have you ever helped with a school play?

A Life Update

Hey everyone. So…you might have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately. (Or maybe not. I don’t know.) I haven’t written a post for today. I wanted to, but I just didn’t get the time. I don’t know when I’m going to have the time. Hopefully this weekend, but I’ll see.

It’s pretty frustrating for me to have to do this again, since keeping up a regular blog is something I’m really proud of. It doesn’t make me feel good to watch my stats go down whenever I don’t post. To my brain, my productivity is so tied up with my self worth, which means that when I stop being productive I feel worthless. Which is a REALLY crappy way of thinking, and also harms others.

Anyway. So. I’m trying to say: it’s okay for me to not do this. I don’t have the time or the energy right now. School is really taking it out of me, frankly; I thought I wasn’t getting as much work but I’m kind of exhausted every day which suggests otherwise.

Yesterday I had a bit of a meltdown which was probably a combination of hormones and like…other stuff mounting up. Anyway, we had a discussion about sex in biology which was basically just only about cis people and making out that chromosomes = gender. And it sucked to see my teacher do that because like, I respect her? I dunno. I’m kind of terrified that everyone will always see me as a girl because of all my Guides stuff, even though I’d like to quit it soon, but I can’t because I’d have to explain to my parents and yeah. UGHH it’s all so confusing and I am just kind of hating my body right now.

ANYWAY. As I said: I hope to write more posts soon but I don’t want to promise stuff. However! I’ve currently been enjoying some great media, like:

  • Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore Aah this was one of my most anticipated books this year and I love it so far aah!! It’s so beautiful and great! And also the book itself is so beautiful! I’d recommend it SO HIGHLY.
  • Wonderful! podcast I really enjoy listening to this as I get ready for bed in the evening… I’ve learnt some excellent trivia and also the hosts Rachel and Griffin McElroy are super cute together. It’s just, dare I say it — wonderful?
  • Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast I think Witch, Please has set the Harry Potter podcast barrier so high for me that nothing will quite achieve its greatness, but this seems super interesting so far.
  • Lumberjanes I am super behind in reading this comic but, hi, I still love it? Mal is my inspiration in life? When can I get her haircut?

Friends, I hope you’re well, and if not please do talk to me, and know that I am supporting you. If you fancy sending me cute cat pictures/hugs/positive queer media recs then I’d really appreciate that right now. See you soon. ❤

 

On Turning 16

This month I’m turning 16. It feels weird. feel weird about it. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE SIXTEEN. In my mind, sixteen sounds so much older than fifteen. It sounds like age when I should be more sorted out, when I should be a better writer, when I should be more confident in myself.

I know that I shouldn’t set so many goals on myself — after all, I know so many wonderful people who are 16 and older who are super awesome and still growing and changing and OBVIOUSLY I have a long way to go — but it does feel like I have just been…less.

In October, my blog is turning 4. Yep, I’ve been here since I was 12! I KNOW THAT’S SO WILD, RIGHT. I truly can’t believe I’ve kept at blogging for this long, and I’m so proud of myself. My blog has become a comforting constant, and I am so grateful that I have carved out this space in which I can say things.

Sometimes my history on here does feel like it’s holding me back, I admit — it’s so much easier to be very personal and honest when you’re shouting into the void of the internet at strangers. Just in general life, I do in many ways wish that I could start over from where I am now, because I am such a different person to how I was in primary school or even 2, 3 years ago.

I feel a little bad for thinking this, but whilst I am so grateful that at the moment my parents are supporting me and I have the structure of school, I really am looking forward to not being a part of that. Being around the same people in a school setting makes it difficult for me to express myself the way I would like. I hope that in the future I can meet feel more happy with myself, and meet more awesome like-minded people. And just to be clear, that’s not to say I don’t love my current friends so dearly, because I do! I would NEVER give them up! It’s just that I have changed, and I want to embrace that change for the better.

Truly, I think I have developed a lot personally. Maybe not so much this year as I did last year; if last year was basically me coming out to myself and my friends, then I guess this year has been…consolidating that? Becoming more confident in myself? I mean, I don’t really know. I know sexuality or gender identity might not be a big deal to some people (which is totally cool and great for you!) but my queerness is a big part of who I am, and it didn’t feel good to bottle that up inside. Although I still make mistakes and do stuff that sucks sometimes, I do hope to keep growing & educating myself & learning how to do better.

So, yes, I wanted to be further in my blogging and writing by now. I haven’t ever finished a project. I haven’t been published any more than I had last year. I basically haven’t written in 6 months, yikes. It is so strange to feel at once so young and on the edge of everything and also like you’ve already wasted so much time. I haven’t experienced “classic teen things” (very big air quotes) like falling in love or going to parties, and yes, sometimes I feel left out. But there is no one way to be a teenager. I can spend my time how I want — and if that’s reading a great book with my cat, that’s okay.

 

On Not Feeling Awesome // plus hiatus

Hey guys! So. If you’ve been following me on social media you might have seen that I haven’t been having a great few days… I’ve been feeling pretty down. I tried to write numerous blog posts with little success. It feels like a lot of bad & stressful stuff has been happening, even though I know it’s probably my perception of it.

It’s okay. I’m doing better now. Even just making the decision to sit down and write makes me feel better. And crying also makes me feel better, even if that sounds kind of weird. I don’t know, maybe my period is coming? It would explain the cramps but also I don’t normally get bad cramps before my period so??? who knows??

Also, I was really stupid & broke my phone. After sitting in rice for several days it seems to mostly work okay, except for the volume. I’d rather have that than nothing though! I’m just a bit frustrated at myself. :/

Just in general EVERYTHING FEELS ANNOYING. I’m having problems dying my hair and seeing all the cool stuff happening at SDCC which I’m not at and having a bit of a Feeling Bad About Gender Moment. I decided to kinda ‘come out’ to my irl friends, I suppose, in that I asked them to use they/them pronouns for me. I love them a lot, and we’re cool and LGBTQ+ together, but some of them don’t know much about non-binary stuff so I guess it can be tiring? And also because I’m an awkward person I don’t like correcting people. But I also put my pronouns more visibly on twitter, so. I’m proud I did that. If I decide actually these pronouns aren’t for me then that’s okay, but they feel good right now, and I’ve had a year to think about.

Good stuff has been happening too! I’m going to YALC next Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited. I also went to see part 1 of Angels in America at the cinema; I look forward to finishing it next Thursday. I’m loving podcasts right now and am absolutely living for the second season of Witch Please, The Penumbra Podcast, and the new Secret Feminist Agenda. I’m currently having a bit of a feminism renaissance! Yay!

I didn’t really realise it until I sat down today but — I think what I need is to take some time away. I’ve been so stressed about trying to schedule posts that I just HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. It is a little disappointing for me because I’m always like ‘oh yay, I blog really regularly! I’m reliable!’ but honestly I want to prioritise my mental health. It’s never good to burn out. It’s not good for me to not be enjoying blogging anymore.

As such, I’ve decided to take August off. I’m away with minimal wifi for the first two weeks — camping hell yeah! — and I’ll see when I get back. I’ll probably post a YALC round up but I can’t guarantee anything more. Instead, I’m going to be working to make my blog even more awesome than before in time for Autumn and my 4th blogoversary! (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT. I feel so old yet I have so few followers, ahahahaha.) (I’m also trying hard to not get down about the relative success of my blog because JEALOUSY IS NOT COOL.)

Thank you for understanding and for staying with me, friends. I love you all. I’ll probably still be more present on twitter and tumblr if you fancy saying hi to me. Please stay well. I’ll see you soon. ❤

 

Summer Bucket List (& Other Plans)

summer bucket list 2017

I’ve just put on my summer playlist and for once the sun is shining here in the UK. Yep, it’s summertime again! AKA the time where I celebrate not having to do schoolwork only to end up being bored. I wish I was someone who could really take this time to relax and do nothing but unfortunately doing that just makes me feel TERRIBLE. By the end of the holidays I actually miss the structure and purpose that school gave me.

But, I am determined that I’m going to do FUN STUFF this summer and NOT MOOCH AROUND. I might be starting off with too high aspirations, but I’ve printed out a calendar and I’m hoping to get back into using my bullet journal as that really helped me structure my day.

I’ve made a to do list of all the stuff that I want or need to do — ranging LL from homework to visiting museums — so I thought I’d share the most interesting here with you. (Trust me, if I just shared my actual word document with the list it would be pretty incomprehensible.)

ink swash 2

activities

There are so many great museums in London & I don’t think I make enough use of them! I’m hoping to visit the Queer Art exhibition at Tate Britain, the LGBTQ+ history thing at the British Museum, maybe visit the V&A or the Science Museum. I have’t been there since I was about 8 so I’d love to see how it’s changed.

I’d also like to take some day trips for example to Brighton, since it’s pretty easy to get a train ticket places, and also I don’t think I’ve ever been to Brighton. SO I’D LIKE TO DO THAT. I’m still working on convincing my friends to come with me haha.

personal

For personal activities, I am hoping to dye my hair blue tomorrow. I actually dyed it blue earlier but it was a semi-permanent dye so washed out basically immediately. 😦 This is something I’ve wanted to do for ages so fingers crossed it works out!

I am also trying to practice more self-care at the moment. I think I’m doing a better job, and currently I feel…fairly good in terms of mental health? Which is nice for once? I’m using the app Smiling Mind to do short daily (or almost daily haha) meditations, and my mum & I are doing some yoga from youtube videos my aunt recommended us. (She’s recently got super into yoga.) And it’s nice to do something together! Especially a physical activity since I don’t really do much in summer and it does make me feel better. I HOPE to go swimming at my local pool but to be honest I’ll probably end up forgetting. I do use my bike to cycle places though, since my parents can’t take me.

Finally, I’m using Duolingo to learn Japanese. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might know that I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for a while — I also did a bunch last summer. However, as I predicted school got in the way, so I am hoping to use Duolingo as an easy way to learn some stuff for my school trip (!!!) in autumn. I find I’m quite motivated since I don’t want to lose my streak haha.

online

I’m pretty sure I say this every single holiday, but I’m going to try and write a whole bunch of blog posts so that I can have some buffer posts when school/life gets busy. (BECAUSE GCSE YEAR AAAAH I’M FINE.) We’ll see how that turns out.

I’ve also been considering rejigging my blog a bit in terms of design and the way I post. I do quite like my current theme, but I’m sort of feeling like it’s time for a change? And that I could make something which both looks nicer and has more consistent content. (Not that this is necessary for an amazing blog. Just something I’ve been thinking about.)

I’m vaguely considering doing some podfic — if you don’t know what it is, it’s like an audiobook except for fanfiction — since a) I love listening to podfic and b) now I have a mildly better microphone to record with but we shall seeee.

writing

In the last few months I’ve done basically no writing. I’d like to say school just took up all my time, but whilst that’s true to some extent, I also haven’t been feeling very motivated to write anything. This is the first year where I haven’t really got any new poems by the summer. 😦 However, I do have a new idea that I’m working on so I hope to do some of that!

One of my big problems with writing is that I get so worked up over THE NOVEL and how it has to be perfect. I find it a lot easier to view any writing projects from a different way — like, what would I do with this if it were a fanfiction? For me writing fic is really all about enjoyment  so that often gives me a way to feel excited about my story again. Or: what if this were a collection of short stories? a podfic? a webcomic? Obviously different stories work better in different mediums, but that’s just a weird thing I do.

media

As all my friends know, I’m terrible at following up on the stuff they recommend me. So, I’m planning to use this time to watch a bunch of different TV shows (Steven Universe, Brooklyn 99, Jane the Virgin, Carmilla probably others I’ve forgotten) as well as various books, webcomics, and other things. I also want to watch some musicals like Heathers, A Very Potter Sequel and Spring Awakening. (I’M SORRY. I feel bad watching bootlegs but the production is done and I don’t know how else I’m going to see it.)

Along with all this there’s schoolwork, reading/buying books for YALC, read a bunch of watching movies like Star Wars. I adore Star Wars but my family doesn’t enjoy sci-fi so I haven’t seen them all. And I’m seeing the Angels in America at the National Theatre Live thing in the cinema over the next two weeks which I am SO EXCITED FOR. AAH. Hopefully I’ll write a post about it.

ink swash 2

I’ve probably left out some other stuff I want to do, as I always do, but this post has somehow reached 1,000 words and it’s getting hot in this room so I shall end here. 🙂 If you like you can check out my summer bucket list from 2015 (I didn’t do one last year); I just did and woAH what a throwback. I do hope my writing style has developed a bit since then ahaha.

what are your plans for the next two months? doing anything nice? what do you think of the ink squiggles??(it’s an experiment)

School Year in Review // #evestudies

school year in review eve studies.jpg

As the school year winds down, I’m entering a bit of reflective period before, you know, I FORGET SCHOOL COMPLETELY for 6 weeks. (Okay, maybe not, but.) If you haven’t been following my #evestudies series, where I talk about school & studying & learning in general, then you can check out my other posts here.

The last time I updated was during half term, which is basically my revision week before internal exams. So how did my exams go? Well…overall I’m really happy with my results! I did better than I was expecting in a bunch of subjects, and I think that for the most part my revision did pay off. I’m quite a perfectionist so whenever I take an exam, I’m kind of aiming to get everything right which means I focus more on what I think I did wrong. (I think? I mean, I’m still figuring it out, but usually there is a difference between how I perceived the exam whilst taking it and the result.)

My main disappointment was probably my biology exam, because I really love biology and I did put a lot of effort into revision, but I was just a unlucky with the topics that came up and wasn’t great at exam technique. I could feel myself getting really stressed during the actual exam.

I also some stupid mistakes in maths, like reading graphs wrong and stuff, because I COULD HAVE FIXED THAT SO EASILY, or forgetting to reference the sources in a history question. But hopefully these mistakes are easily fixed!

And how does this relate to the school year as a whole? Because IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE EXAMS, even if the government is trying really hard to convince us that is the case.I do think I’ve had a good year at school, to be honest. I’ve heard some people saying that Year 7/8/9 was so much easier and we have a lot of work at GCSE but, honestly, I feel I’m only growing as a person as time passes. The past year has had a lot of difficulties, but it’s not like we can go back so I’m trying to focus on the present. I actually love all my classes! Though I felt sad that I’m not taking French, I don’t regret my choices. I feel like I am LEARNING and I LOVE IT A LOT. I CAN’T WAIT TO LEARN ALL THE THINGS.

The subjects I’ve found most challenging this year were maths, English, and history. In maths it takes me a pretty long time to understand a subject, and it feels like we do a lot of different unrelated topics in a short space of time, which I find difficult. I don’t much enjoy our GCSE set text (Spies by Michael Frayn) and in general I don’t adore the way we do English GCSE, but I’m finding ways to be more motivated. We’re studying new texts now which should be a bit better. For history, though I’m very interested, the lessons are pretty intense and I can easily zone out. I think it just has a lot of difficult skills to develop! But, you know, I’m working on it.

I mean, obviously I could do more stuff like reading out of what we do in lessons, spending more time on homework rather than just trying to get it done, but it’s important for me to balance my schoolwork with my mental health. 🙂 I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, and I want to keep trying to practice self-care, especially when I feel terrible. (Which is when it is most difficult for me.)

Aside from academic stuff this year, I’ve done cool stuff like starting to play the saxophone, joining a rad clarinet quartet, joining some cool clubs, helping out with the school play and making it through the school biathlon alive which I AM SO PROUD OF. I find running pretty difficult, so.

And that’s a wrap on my school year! I hope that next academic year I can continue to grow both personally & in my learning. Yes, I am in one of those REFLECTIVE GROWTH MOODS. Maybe it’s the summer. Whilst I’m not doing much work I can try and be positive about the idea of doing work haha.

if you’re still in education, how’s it going? how has the last year been to you? do you have any goals for the future?

 

 

Pride Month // i talk about queer things

pride month queer things.jpg

(A note: I use the word queer to describe myself and I’m going to be using it a lot in this post, just to let you know.)

I’ve said this approximately 192730 times already but IT IS JUNE, AND IT IS PRIDE MONTH, aka the month of the year where I not only think about queer stuff all the time but also talk about queer stuff all the time! And everyone else talks about queer stuff too! (Yes. I like Pride Month a lot.)

I thought that today it would be nice for me to talk a bit about my own — and I sort of cringe to call it this, but? — ~queer experience~. I know this might feel like a familiar topic, and I am definitely not super unique, but it’s cathartic for me to talk about myself. And who knows? Maybe it will help someone else. 🙂

The internet and by extension the blogging community have both been really formative for me in so many ways. One of these ways is that I essentially discovered that LGBTQ+ people existed and I could be a thing that wasn’t, like, a normative gender or sexuality. I initially thought I was asexual, actually. (And yes, fanfiction introduced me to this. It might sound weird but I think it made a difference to hear it described in terms of feelings?) I didn’t identify with what people around me were saying about crushes and attraction, and to be honest to this day I still don’t. But I’m really grateful to the blogging community for helping me to become more educated, and to discovering myself.

To be honest, I didn’t feel great about my identity for a long time. (I still often don’t.) But simply just talking about queer stuff and how I was feeling really helped me. I’m just looking back on my blog, and I think the first time I started blogging about LGBTQ+ stuff was early 2016? Yeah. In many ways I find it easier to talk to strangers over the internet, and it’s also cool that you can easily find other people who are similar to you.

The first time that I came out to my friends in real life was about a year ago — just after Brexit, actually. Anyway, one of my friends told me they were bisexual and then it turned out a bunch of my other friends were also LGBTQ+ which was cool! I don’t think I officially had, like, a proper coming out moment after that but somehow it’s sort of pervaded our friendship group that many of us are LGBTQ+ which is pretty rad. *finger guns*

I’ve had some people tell me they don’t like it when people put their orientation or identity as their defining feature. I really respect if you don’t want your identity to be a big thing, and of course I’ll try my best to not make a big deal of it! (I mess up sometimes, and I’m sorry.) But I do find it frustrating when people say that I should talk about queer stuff less so I can try and assimilate or something. I know that many people don’t want to talk about their identity a lot but personally I find it pretty stressful to keep everything inside.

Because I am always thinking about queer stuff. It might sound weird, but just being able to talk about it makes me feel so much happier. I know that I have so much privilege — because I’m white, living in the UK, able-bodied, I haven’t really experienced much homophobia or queerphobia — yet it still made me feel isolated to just not be talking about stuff I spent a lot of of time thinking about.

Of course this is something so many people have to do, and I respect you so much. I’m so lucky to be in a place where I actually can talk openly about queer stuff — I can go to a society at school and just chill being queer. And IT FILLS ME WITH SO MUCH INEXPLICABLE JOY. I LOVE TALKING ABOUT QUEER STUFF.

So, yeah, I’m really happy that in the last year or so I’ve been able to be more free with myself, and accept myself. I really hope that I can do that more in the future. One of the things I’d love to do would be to attend a Pride celebration! The nearest one to me is London, and currently I am planning on going, which I’m pretty excited about.  (If you’re thinking of going then and want to say hi then I’d love to hear. *nods*) I do hope that I can, and that I can be more happy with myself in the future, even if it isn’t always easy.