2017: Love, Life & (Where the hell was) Laura

Prior to typing these words, I was sat staring at my screen for approximately ten minutes. It's not that I don't have anything to say, nor feelings to inordinately express - because, I do, I have a tonne of things to say and a tonne of feelings ready to detonate - it's just, where do I begin?

I didn't blog half as much in 2017 as I have in previous years; You all know that. But not as intensely as I feel it.

Just lately, I've been having dreams about being pregnant, and if you know me well, having a child is something that is so far off my agenda that it may as well be occurring in the Upside Down alongside a Demogorg-mom. But the fact that it kept occurring, lead to me having a browse on Google and discovering that it's a representation of a new idea, project or goal, and a craving to be more creative. Boom, hit the nail on the head.

At the end of 2016 - even right at the beginning of 2017 - I was thriving in my creativity. I was posting regularly, I had my project life scrapbook, my bullet journal, and I was getting to grips with my camera/my new phone, and taking endless photographs. I still have a jumble of scrap notes and sentences in my desk drawer that I love, but yet cannot seem to be able to place within a comprehensible blog post.

I cannot pinpoint the exact moment that I drifted away from that path, because I believe that it was an entire stage, fluttering over the course of months. But, I know where it began, and I'm the one that has to end it.

Life has so many paths that it allows you to take, it really is just a matter of using your head and your heart to choose the one that you desire the most.

At the beginning of this year, I chose to take my life on a stray path and followed my heart onto what could have potentially been perilous (and stupid) territory. I'm not talking life-risking here, I'm talking my heart and pride. Turns out, my heart ignored every warning possibly going and dove straight into a situation that you could only find on Netflix original rom-com shows, yet not one that can be shouted from the rooftops, even when you feel as if your thoughts are running at a thousand miles per hour and attached to a megaphone. Having a situation growing inside of me, as intense as it was, and not being able to speak openly about it, stunted that part of me that talks to my blog as a friend, because it was all I ever wanted to talk about.

In April, I lost my Granddad to a short battle with cancer. I'd never lost a family member before and I'd never experienced grief, nor been surrounded by it. I wasn't close to my Granddad, I can be open and honest here and now on that matter, so it didn't shatter my hear nor did it put me into any state of mourning, but it lead me onto a path that saw my family members suffer such pain, a pain of which I didn't, and couldn't, share. It left me feeling useless and blank. I started to question whether I really am as cold as I have been referred to in the past, as whether my feelings are a little jaded towards others. Was I supposed to be crying? Was I supposed to mourn too? I couldn't find a coherent way to write exactly how I felt. And, as if this emotion was collected into a jar and kept for another occasion - December brought the shock loss of my uncle. To have never have lost a family member before, to losing two in nine months - I still have no real way of expressing the emotion that this brought.

May brought me heartbreak. 
I left my job of four years, at Manchester Arena, in April. In May, I had never felt so utterly useless in my whole entire life. Being so mentally close to the arena, and my friends, yet physically so far away, rendered me the most useless that I have ever felt in my entire life. It shattered me more than I could possibly explain, yet felt afraid to write and talk about. I was completely aware that my life was still intact whilst others' had been torn apart and destroyed. It wasn't my time to speak up and it wasn't my time to express those feelings that could come across so insensitive and of such little importance, when so many others were truly suffering. I stayed quiet bar a few tweets and an Instagram post, in fear of being incriminated as an attention seeker, because sadly, that's exactly what the internet is like. But I was heartbroken.

On top of that, my body would not give me a break health-wise. From nearly breaking my hand to having a rocky ride with my wisdom tooth removal, I found it really difficult that I could not just be for a while - affecting my mental health massively and prolonging my struggles.

Just a few months was what it took to suppress my thoughts and feelings, placing them into a tightly closed box that only time could unlock.
But, finally, the creative cogs in my brain have started turning once again, and I am able to type again as fluently as I could recite Katy Perry's life story. Or the script of Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone. Take your pick.

I'd like to think now, after this post, that my box has opened slightly again and allows me to once again return to the world of blogging, being able to freely express emotions, and being able to take myself off on adventures to create a world of content that I once strived for.

Now, with all that said and done, 2017 wasn't all that bad;

  • I beat my driving anxiety and I can now jump in and out of my car with no hesitation.
  • I left a job that became toxic and found myself a new one where I have made some amazing friends.
  • I've gone another year without obsessing about my weight and I'm enjoying food so much more.
  • I properly enjoyed my birthday for the first time in years.
  • I watched my auntie get married to the love of her life and the best addition to our family.
  • I finally got my break and have been able to take the first real step into my dream career.
  • I've realised that some friendships are forever and some are temporary. And there's nothing wrong with temporarily enjoying somebody else's company if it makes you happy.
  • I became so much more aware of the world we live in and have finally stopped eating meat and cut down on dairy.

Would I repeat 2017 again? Without thinking and with absolutely no hesitation, I would say no. But the lessons that I have learnt, and the people that I have met, made it worth something. 
There'll always be silver linings.
But, 2018, I am so ready for you.

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