Blessed

A Kindred Spirit

After writing about a duo and groups of individuals, this is the first of my series that will be written about a single person.  It had to be done, as this person is part of my YP Insight family, she joined the TCFT community after participating in TCFT Croydon 2018, and most of all, she has become one of my good friends.  It’s weird, I feel like I’ve known her for years when we only met in June, but I guess it’s because we stay in such regular contact.

We didn’t speak much when she came to Poetic Insight for the first time – I was doing my host thing.  Our friendship really started when she joined me on one of my walks home from Croydon in the summer.  I appreciated the company and enjoyed some quality, humorous conversation, making a change to the solitary walks to music I’d usually take.

Although it was only one walk, the quality conversations have continued over catch ups or at events.  We also have numerous cyber interactions, talking on various subjects from poetry to work to boys.  And a lot of the stories she tells me are hilarious – you wouldn’t believe this girl’s life sometimes.

I feel blessed to have someone like Mhairi in my life, not only because she shares my love of poetry and we can go to poetry events together, but because she gets the work I do – she’s my kindred spirit in a lot of ways.  She not only has a love for YP Insight, but she contributes and supports in any way she can.  She’s an ideal TCFT participant, who threw herself into the process.  In fact, Mhairi throws herself into anything she does – I know she will always be willing to support and get involved when she can.  I admire that.

What I think I most admire about Mhairi though, is her ability to strike up a conversation and keep it going with anyone.  It’s brilliant – I sometimes say, ‘I wish I was more Mhairi,’ because of it.  Meeting people like Mhairi makes the work I do even richer, and also a whole lot easier.  Having friends like her – loyal, supportive, caring, funny – makes life a lot brighter.

Thank you Mhairi for being such a big part of my 2018, and I hope that will continue for years and years to come.  We need to get a picture together as well, because I don’t know how that hasn’t happened this year.  Love you girl.

I’ll Miss You Grandad

GranddadI never had the chance to know the grandad on my dad’s side of the family, but the granddad I had the chance to know more than made up for that.  My grandad was, in my opinion, the best grandad in the world.

He was one of the few people in my life who never let me down.  He was always there for me, showing me love, support and care.  In fact, he was one of the few family members that I wrote a blog post all about — he was just that special.  More than anything though, my grandad has been the main source of inspiration in my life.

Unfortunately, I lost my grandad today, but he will never stop being my inspiration or being the best grandad in the world.  My grandad will always be in my heart and I hope to keep his legacy living on by emulating his amazing character.  I want to exude his kindness, faith, humour and warm, welcoming nature.  I want to be able to touch lives, like he touched mine and countless others.  I just wish that he could be here to see it.

My grandad had an amazing knowledge of the Bible, which really impressed me.  During my time spent studying with him, I developed a hunger and a will to learn more.  I wanted to understand the messages God had given to us, partly because of the example he had set me.

I’ll miss so many things about my grandad.  I’ll miss his “Burton jokes” and famous sayings, particularly “That’s the point”, which is my favourite.  I’ll miss hearing stories about his childhood and listening to him recite poems.  I’ll miss him asking, “What do you love?” and then having that dish prepared for us the next time we were at his house.  I’ll miss his bread and fried dumplings.  I’ll miss him leading out in song and saying long-winded speeches during family worship.  There is just so much more.

It won’t be the same without my grandad and I can’t imagine life without him, because he has been a constant presence since the day of my birth.  However, I feel blessed and happy to have known such a wonderful, loving man who made an impact on so many lives, and I’ve been fortunate enough to call him my grandad.  I wish that he could have seen me achieve more and truly make a difference in this world, but he will always be present in my work, because I know he played a major part in shaping who I am.

I love you with all my heart grandad, now and forever, but I know you’re finally at peace and the next face you’ll see is Jesus when He comes again.  You’ll finally be going to that home you’ve desperately hoped for and I hope to see you there.  May you rest in peace.

My 2015 Journey

2015 was definitely a journey for me, taking me on an emotional rollercoaster, flying me to different destinations, driving me forward in my endeavors and breaking to a halt at times.  I’d been told by some that this would be my year and it was in some ways, but there were times when it was a complete mess.  I found myself feeling happy, excited and loved, but there were times when I felt lost, weak and withdrawn.  Let’s just say that it was an intriguing year.

One of the greatest factors was watching myself grow in confidence and start to develop more self-esteem, which I’ve seriously been lacking over the years.  Going to Bosnia was a major help in developing my confidence, as I was forced out of comfort zone numerous times.  It was nerve-wracking, but so much fun and amazing for my development.  Bosnia also helped a little in developing my self-esteem, but I know that mainly come from studying the Gospels and reading them as if they were just for me, as recommended by Pastor Kelly.

However, there are a number of issues that have continued to rear their ugly head this year.  In fact, I’ve found myself in my third round of counselling, which has been a great help and allowed me to address some of the things I’d pushed to the back of my mind.  There were the continuing issues of self-worth, understanding my feelings, being more assertive and the need for love or attention, which resulted in a regrettable situation that left me in a mess for months.  I’m getting past it now though and I’ve learnt some valuable lessons in the process.

As I told you yesterday in my Top 5 Moments, I was blessed enough to leave the country twice, get my first paid writing job and make a short film to take my youth project forward.  Speaking of my youth project, I was also blessed enough to get myself a logo and domain name, as well as a little help from some funding.  I’ve continued building up my other blog, Young People Insight, and the support has been great.

I also had the opportunity to start writing for Limelight Magazine in Croydon, a lifestyle magazine for young people by young people.  Reporting for Limelight gave me the chance to attend the press day for the stunning Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A.  However, as I started at Limelight, my time writing for Live Mag UK sadly came to a close with the decision to end the online platform, also for young people by young people.  I loved being a part of Live for the past year and I will forever adore them for allowing me to write about my beloved American sports.

Friendships were made, some ended, some were repaired.  Walls and barriers were broken down, disagreements and arguments erupted.  I laughed a lot, I cried a lot.  God gave me the strength to push through the hardships, although there were occasions when I was too weak to fight and gave up.  However, I’ve almost made it through the year and I’ve grown more than I could have imagined and gained more than I ever imagined.

There is more that I wanted to achieve this year and I know that there is more I could have done, but I’ve got to take things one step at a time and be thankful for everything I have achieved.  After all, 2016 is another year and I know that by God’s grace, I’ll be doing a lot more when the new year comes.  I look forward to the journey 2016 will take me on.