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A Round Up of 2021 and My Hopes for 2022

at the top is the year '2021' in fireworks. Underneath is the year '2022' in fireworks

So it's that time of year again where I discuss what has happened to me during this year, whether I have achieved my goals for the year, and what my goals are for the year ahead. If you haven't already seen last years post, you can do so by heading over to this link. Now you've done that, let's take a look at my round-up of 2021 and my hopes for 2022...

A round-up of 2021:

Let's go back to January. This was a time where everyone, for some reason, seemed to be of the belief that COVID was just going to magically disappear. Well, they were all wrong because a few days in and we were put straight back into a third lockdown. So, not only did I have this added stress of being locked away again (as did the rest of the country) on my mental health, but I also had the stress of handing in my first two university assignments of my third and final year of university. In these assignments, I got a 2:2 and a first. I was a bit disappointed with my 2:2 as I had worked so hard and was under the impression I had done really well with that assignment, but I guess I didn't. I guess it didn't help that I only went to the first session in person (this was the only class I had that was face-to-face, all the others were online) and after that, I never went back for a variety of reasons (having to isolate for two weeks, forgetting I was meant to go in, not want to go in case I had to isolate again, my tutors having to isolate, and just not really enjoying that class or the lecturers teaching it). But I guess things don't always work out the way in which we would like them to and that's just something we have to live with.

In March, I turned twenty-one. This was quite a big achievement for me as I never even thought I would get to twenty, never mind twenty-one, so I guess I was just happy to be alive. However, despite the fact that I hadn't had a suicidal thought for a matter of months, that day happened to be the first day in a long while that my suicidal thoughts came back. I just remember being home alone for most of the day (everyone else was either at work/school and I only had one online university class that day - we were pretty much still in lockdown and it was a week after they introduced that first step to coming out of lockdown). I remember standing in the kitchen, not really knowing what to do with myself and everything just felt so stressful and I just wanted to lie on the kitchen floor and not move for a few hours. I felt so low and just didn't want to be here. I guess this is possibly because I haven't enjoyed my birthday for as long as I can remember and just wanted the day to be over so I could carry on as 'normal' (whatever that is). I went into my room and there was a white feather laying on the floor and I took that to be a sign from my Grandad to tell me to keep on going and that he was looking after me (he passed away in 2015). I'm so grateful that I have kept on going and I know I'm never going to be fully away from my mental health problems, but hopefully, things will start to get better in some way.

In May I sent off my final ever university assignments. This was a weird feeling because I had nothing lined up for once I had finished and it was at this point that I became really scared of the future because it was the first time in terms of an academic/career prospect that I didn't have a clue what I was going to do. I did my degree in early childhood studies, however, by the time I had finished I realised that this really isn't the career I want to go into. Despite that, I managed to get a 2:1 and two firsts in these assignments, which meant that I had graduated university overall with a first. I cried when I found out (from happiness) as I have never been the most clever academically and this is the first time I have ever got a top grade. I worked really hard for this and despite me not wanting to do this as a career anymore, I feel so proud of myself for achieving this.

In June I went to the doctors about getting two moles on my face removed. The main one that was the reason I went in the first place has always annoyed me as it was quite raised and rather large and I always felt really self-conscious about it and felt that it was the first thing people noticed when they saw me. Nobody ever made me feel this way and the only time anyone ever mentioned it was when I was in primary school when a boy asked me what was on my face, but I have never been teased about it and nobody has ever made me feel self-conscious by it (except for myself, of course). I was finally able to get them removed in August (even though I went private, the mole specialist at the clinic I went to was only there once a fortnight and a combination of that and the fact it was the summer holidays meant I couldn't have it removed until two and a half months after my first consultation, which was fine as it was only a cosmetic procedure and it gave me more time to think things through (I changed my mind on the way I wanted it removed too), plus I was in no rush). It's almost four months since my operation and it's healing quite nicely (I will give a full run down in next week's post).

In August, after spending pretty much my entire life feeling like there's something different about me, I decided to start the process of getting a diagnosis for ADHD. I suspect I have inattentive ADHD (but it is possibly combined, I'm not entirely sure). I was doing an online SEND course and one of the modules was on ADHD. Everything that was on that module was something I could relate to. I did a lot of research and followed numerous people on social media who have ADHD to try and find out more about it from the perspective of those who actually have to live with it. The furthest I have gotten so far is making a note of my symptoms by downloading a worksheet created by someone who has ADHD, as a way of hopefully helping me get that diagnosis and so the doctor doesn't just think I'm making it all up or overthinking everything. I haven't yet taken the leap to actually get in contact with my doctor about getting a diagnosis and have only completed a tiny amount of the booklet (but I will get round to it soon, promise), but hopefully, this is something I can work on over the next year.

In the same month, I also began work as a freelance content writer. I have only done one job so far which is continuous work as a ghostwriter. This doesn't pay much, but it's a start and I am still applying for plenty of other content writing positions so hopefully more work will start to show up throughout the next year. I really enjoy it as I can work at my own pace and also get to find out more about subjects I haven't previously understood all that well. So if anyone needs some freelance writing work done, please feel free to email me and I will be more than happy to do so.

In November, I decided to fully take the plunge and start applying for presenter roles. I mentioned in last year's post that I had an interest in becoming a TV presenter but that I didn't have the self-belief to do it. I finally have that self-belief and have applied for lots of roles over the past month. For the majority of roles I have applied for, I have at least been put under consideration for them but haven't heard anything since. I don't know whether that means they are no longer interested or if they are still open for applications and are waiting until applications close before they start completely short-listing for roles. It is quite disheartening, with anything I've applied for when you don't hear anything back as you want to know what possibly went wrong but there is no way of knowing. However, I just have to accept that those things weren't meant to be. I'll get there eventually. I recently got a live hosting gig on the AGORA world beauty app, which I'm very excited about. I'm really excited about this and have already done my first live. I hope this will give me some sense of what it's like to plan a show, do a live show, and interact with an audience, even though I'm aware there is a big difference between doing a live show on an app from your home and being in a studio filming a live TV show with a live studio audience, but everyone has to start somewhere and this is my starting point and I couldn't be more excited.

My goals and if I achieved them:

My first goal for 2021 was to graduate with at least a 2:1. I am so incredibly proud to say that I actually graduated with a first. When I say graduated, what I actually mean is that I have finished university with a first. I haven't had a graduation yet as I wasn't included in the online graduation my university held in July due to the board not confirming my mark until after the deadline and there was an opportunity for myself, the rest of the class of 2021 and the class of 2020 to attend an in-person graduation in January, however, I decided not to do this as I am completely finished with university and have moved on so much since I was there that I don't want to attend graduation because I'm worried I will fall back into being that person. However, that graduation has since been cancelled due to COVID and I do really feel for those that had already planned on attending and had spent money on going there. Regardless of that, I am someone who never got top grades at school so the fact I was able to achieve a first in the first place is something I never saw as attainable, but clearly, I should have had more faith in myself because I can clearly achieve what I want to achieve.

My second goal for 2021 was to find a job. This has kind of come true and kind of not. In last year's post, I said I was looking at becoming a play therapist but that I really wanted to become a TV presenter, but my issue was I lacked in confidence to go for it. Since writing that post, whilst I am still somewhat interested in becoming a play therapist, I realised whilst looking how to become one that I didn't have the interest in taking all the steps to get there, which is to have a couple of years in the industry and then do a two year Master's degree. Instead, I have focused on my goal of becoming a TV presenter. I signed up for a number of different sites and have been applying for a variety of presenter, voice over and content creating jobs. I recently got the job of becoming an AGORA live show host (as I have already mentioned) and am also a freelance content writer. Even though neither of these jobs pays a lot currently, I'm hoping to go further with my writing as it's easy money and I actually rather enjoy it. Plus, it gives me some security in terms of knowing I have money coming in, even if it's not exactly enough to live off currently, and I can do it from anywhere; for example, should I get more presenting jobs that require me to be elsewhere, I don't have to worry about taking time off work and as long as I have my laptop with me, I can do it from wherever. I'm so proud of myself for pushing through my anxiety and long may this continue.

My third and final goal for 2021 was to just get through it. Well, I can confirm I've got through it, so clearly I have managed to do that. I'm not going to lie, it was touch and go a lot of the time, but I managed to push through everything (as have you) and come out the other side. I'm not sure of how much hope I have for 2022 regarding what the pandemic is going to look like this time next year, but hopefully, it will be somewhat better than this year. But then again, this year hasn't exactly been completely bad and I am grateful for all the lessons it has taught me and I hope I continue to apply them for years to come.

My hopes for 2022:

My first hope for 2022 is to continue with my presenting work. There are a number of projects I have applied to where I have kind of heard stuff back and I hope I hear more back from them as I'm genuinely really interested in them. Even if in doing these projects I don't get to where I want to be, because I'm so passionate about them, I will at least be able to say that I tried. I came across a presenter training programme that is industry-recommended, but it is quite a bit of money; however, I know it will help me invest in my future so hopefully, at some point in the next year I will have done that and doing so should help me get more industry contacts and help move me forwards with my career. I'm grateful for my work with AGORA and hope to do a lot more live shows with them, as so far I've only done one and I've already learnt a fair amount from that one show. However, by this time next year, I hope I have at least become involved with some more presenting and/or voice over projects and that I will be in a position to make even more moves and possibly be on TV, either by the end of 2022 or at some point in 2023.

My second hope for 2022 is to become the person I want to be. What I mean by this is that I often feel that I can't be my true self around many people in my life. If it's someone new and I feel somewhat comfortable around them, I can kind of be myself to the extent where I'm aware they don't know anything about me so I don't feel I have to live up to a label they may have on me, because there isn't one. What I mean by this is that there are some people in my life who have labelled me as quiet and because of this, I feel I have to be quiet around them and that I can't suddenly speak up and join in with the conversation because they see me as being quiet and if I start joining in, they may think I'm trying to be someone I'm not, even though I'd just be being me. All I want is to be myself around anyone and everyone and I hate the fact that I feel I can't be me around them. I'm determined to work on this and one day (hopefully soon) I will be the real me.

My third and final hope for 2022 is to feel able to ask for help when I need it. I have always been bad at asking for help and would rather struggle alone than be surrounded by at least one person who can give me the help I need. In particular, I want to be able to ask for help regarding my mental health and getting an ADHD diagnosis. Getting therapy to talk about my issues regarding my mental health is something that has been on my list for a long time and is one thing I put on the mood board I created earlier this year. I'm aware I need someone to talk to and need a way to put an end to my anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Even though I'm aware these will never go away and will always be there in one way or another, I'm pretty sure (and hopeful) that therapy will help me see things clearer. I also need help with an ADHD diagnosis, which means actually having to approach my doctor to get the ball rolling. It is a bit stressful as I'm aware there are long waiting times to get the diagnosis, however, I would rather go through that (as annoying as it is) and know where I stand by the end of it than not know and not be able to manage the symptoms I have properly (whether this is ADHD or whether it is related to my anxiety and/or depression).

So, those are the things that have happened to me during 2021 and my hopes for 2022. I enjoy writing these posts so much and it's always lovely to look back on the things that have happened during the year and to consider the things I want to happen for the year ahead. Let's just say, I'm very excited about 2022 and I have very high hopes for it.

As always, if there is anything you would like to talk to me about, you can do so via email, or DMing me on Twitter or Instagram. I'm not the best at replying (maybe I should have made one of my goals for 2022 to be better at replying to people), but I always try to reply when I can remember to. If you want to work with me, either writing a post for this blog or would like me to do a bit of content writing for you, please get in contact with me by filling out the form in the contacts tab at the top of the page. I am always looking for new people to write posts for this blog as they always have so much to offer and I did start doing a bit of freelance writing work earlier this year and I would love to continue with that.

Finally, I would just like to say thank you to you. Regardless of whether you are a regular reader, follow me on social media, or have only just found my blog, any support you give me truly means the world to me. I wouldn't be able to do any of this if it wasn't for all of your support.

Love Beth xx

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