International Women’s Day 2016

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Happy International Women’s Day you lovely lot! I found this awesome illustration online today and had to share it with you all! On a side note if anyone can let me know who the artist is I’d really appreciate it.  I was supposed to be watching the incredible Caitlin Moran tonight but for a bunch of reasons I’m sat at home instead thinking about what this day means to me.

In the past year I’m lucky enough to have had a huge and brilliant feminist epiphany after spending my whole summer propped up with books for company. I read everything I could get my hands on Caitlin Moran, Lena Dunham, Polly Vernon, Mindy Kaling, Natasha Walter and I still have a pile that I’m slowly adding more and more books. I scoured the internet for Ted Talks and I’ve watched every one I can find.

I’m not claiming I have it right, that I’m a perfect feminist. I know I’m not. I’ve said stupid things before because I wasn’t educated but now I am and I want to join everyone who wants to fight for gender equality all over the world.

We might not have it the easiest and I know I have it easier than a lot of women around the world and we still have a lot to change. That said I feel lucky to be a woman, I feel lucky to be in the company of some incredible fellow females. I feel grateful for the women who made me who I am today, whether that be by bringing me up, teaching me or the words of women who I’ve never met.

Happy International Women’s Day to all you Wonder Women out there!

10 things I’ve learnt in the last month

Yesterday was 1 month since I fell off Rose, I couldn’t believe how quickly one month had gone. Although I still have a month until my next spine appointment, I will have hopefully made some more improvements. Where am I at the moment? I’m still taking very strong painkillers and have trouble getting up but I can walk that little bit further than before. I was quite poorly yesterday night (hence no blog) but I wanted to use today’s to think about some of the things I’ve learnt this month while I’ve been resting. Enjoy 🙂

1. Fear of falling is never a good thing

When I fell from Rose, I wasn’t scared. I knew that I had to just let go, it was only a fall. Ok, yes I ended up with much more than just an initial bruise BUT I want to get that feeling back. I want to get that feeling where I’m not scared of falling because I can’t just go around scared whenever I ride. I kind of want to apply it to other areas of my life too. I’m a total perfectionist, I’m absolutely terrified of failing, especially academically. So maybe I can relax a little? Just enough so I’m not a huge ball of stress all through third year.

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I will get back to being this fearless on a horse! 

2. How lucky I am

I am walking. I am not permanently in a wheelchair and I’m so grateful. The lack of finding the fractures meant I went back to my normal life, I could have very easily ended up paralysed. I’ve been cared for by the people who matter and I’m still getting there but it looks like I’m going to recover from this, for that I am so,so lucky.

3. I want to be financially secure so I can afford private healthcare once I’ve graduated

I don’t want the NHS to be privatised because for most of my life it’s been there and I’m glad we can rely on a National System. That said, I wasn’t treated well with this serious injury, I’ve had to wait and push and be in extreme pain for appointments and I still don’t have my back brace never mind that the fractures were missed. It’s one of my goals in life to have private healthcare because I know I will be treated with the best possible care, it’s sad but true.

4. I have lots of wonderful people around me 

My family is incredible and so are my friends. I’ve had this outpouring of love from all of my friends and family. Cards have been sent, I’ve been accompanied to hospital, Ali’d had to help me move, I’ve been pushed in my wheelchair and made to smile about it, comments,presents and messages. I feel so loved and appreciated everything so, so much.

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5. Sometimes it’s ok that things don’t go to plan 

As you all know I was meant to go to Prague with Eleanor and Dani this month. I’d been counting down for so long and I couldn’t go. I was devastated to say the least and I cried, a lot. The thing is although I didn’t get to go to Prague, I got invited to the Society Awards instead and saw my society win an award, as well as another one of my best friends win an award. Am I still sad that I missed out on time with El and Dani? Of course I am but at least I still got to smile with two of my other best friends.

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6. You can always embarrass yourself in front of your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together 

Ali and I have been together for seven years and yet I still find ways to embarrass myself. I’ve been taking showers as I can stand up in the warm water, it helps the pain. I decided my legs NEEDED shaving so I sat down in the bath…then realised I was stuck. Ali then had to come and lift me out of the bath, it was a beautiful moment. I was so embarrassed, love huh?

7. There are other ways to let out pain and frustration 

In the past when I was in the darkest parts of depression I didn’t know how to let my pain and frustration out in a positive way, now it’s a lot better. I write a lot or I draw sometimes. There are so many things that you can do to let it all out, I’ll be writing a post in the future about it.

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8. Friends are priceless

I couldn’t have kept my spirits up the way I have without my friends, they’ve been incredible. They’ve visited or messaged me and kept my spirits up with I’ve been very low and they haven’t gotten frustrated when it takes me so long to walk anywhere.Thank you to all of you, I love you so much.

9. A lot needs to be done for people who are permanently in wheelchairs 

I’ve gone out in my wheelchair twice and I’ve noticed this. While the majority of people have been nice and helpful I’ve been moaned at my people in cars for not being off the road the second the light turns green for them, I’ve been sighed at when someone needs to change their path because of my wheelchair and I’ve been walked in front of. This is where angry Chloe happens who doesn’t give a monkeys, I usually shout after them. It’s been so hard getting about in the wheelchair, to get up the pavement is a major issue, getting into shops, getting around in general! More needs to be done for people in wheelchairs to make their lives easier!

10. Pain doesn’t mean the end of happiness 

I’ve been pretty low through all this but I’ve still managed happiness. I can stil laugh with my friends and I’ve adapted things. I’m not saying I don’t get upset, frustrated and angry, but I can still achieve happiness even if it’s harder.

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Still smiling 

I feel loved!

It’s strange how something like this accident has made me realise how loved I really am. It’s not that I didn’t know before, but I’ve just had an outpouring of love and good wishes since I found out about the fractures and it’s been really making me smile. I’ve had a lot of support from you guys, my lovely followers! People wishing me the best, thinking of be, keeping me in their prayers, which is lovely and I thank you all so much. The kindness towards me has been cheering me up when I’m stuck in bed, on the sofa or only able to take little walks into town before I fall asleep again. IMG_2651

My card from Nanna and Gramps 🙂

Obviously you all know about how amazing Ali has been. He’s cooking for me, cleaning for me, helping me get up in the morning (not mentally, physically I have to do a really weird wiggle/roll thing to get out of bed) and he’s had to deal with me being frustrated and angry. He’d really do anything for me. On top of that my family have been incredible, my parents have been coming up for appointments, calling me every day and giving me advice or cheering me up when I need it. My sister’s been letting me rant when people get too worried and my grandparents have been great with texts, cards and phone calls 🙂 Ali’s Mum’s paid for him to come to Athens with me so that I can still go! Oh and not to forget my Lucy and little Lexi who have been texting most days and Lexi, being the sweetheart she is wanted to see me today so she could kiss my ouchie better, but she’s sending me magic anyway (seriously 3 year olds are THE cutest). IMG_2646

Keeping updated with Spider Gwen thanks to Joe! 

My friends have also been incredible, these are just some of the gifts and friends! My band have been super supportive over everything when I’ve been feeling so guilty,so have the music community making me determined to be back to performing as soon as I possibly can! As well as Laura coming with me to the hospital in the first place, she’s a regular visitor at the flat now, bringing me flowers, chocolate and a funny card to cheer me up. Joe got me another issue of Spider Gwen and made sure that I could see everyone at my work do even if it was just for a little bit and offered to pick me up anything I needed around town, as well as being hooked into helping me take my library books back and carrying my shopping around for me. Dani is collecting bits and bobs from the horse show to cheer me up and Amy got me a cute little notebook to cheer me up. I’m also chatting with all the girls on our whatsapp group too! As well as all that I get to see Alissa before she goes back to the US on Monday as well as El and Dani before they go to Prague.

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My new notebook from Amy 🙂

I’m in so much pain but I keep smiling because I feel so loved and cared for at the moment. I needed to write this down so that I can read it again later and be cheered up. I don’t know how to express how thankful I am for all the people who light up my life and are making this easier for me 🙂 I love you all so much and I’m so lucky to have such amazing people in my life.

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Flowers from Laura 🙂 

I’m so lucky!

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I may be writing this a little intoxicated, well at least I was earlier but right now I feel so lucky, so very lucky. I’ve just gotten back from my last day of first semester and an amazing night out with my girls. Good food, great drinks and a lot of laughs. This time last year I was lonely, spending most weekends alone in my room and wondering what this was all about. Now I have a great time in class, brilliant friends, career ideas as well as carrying on the success of No People Club and being able to live with Ali. I feel so, so lucky right now.

Why I LOVE Kingston

It’s no surprise to any of you who read this blog regularly that I am absolutely in love with my university. I study there, I live there, I have friends there, I met my band there and I want to stay there. Without sounding cocky after my results came out I could have applied to other places I recieved A*, Distinction *, Distinction *, Distinction and B overall and had a stack of UCAS points I didn’t expect. I worked bloody hard and threw up in my exam, so yes I was proud of myself. This actually let of a fair bit of snobbery, people would ask why I was applying to Kingston with my grades and I’m writing this to explain why I chose Kingston and why I want to choose them again.

Kingston was one of the first places that I felt like I could fit, I was excited as well as terrified but that didn’t stop me. Since I got here it’s been amazing, the support I get, my incredible tutor and lecturers, my mental health team, the student life team, working with the students union, awards and endless opportunities. It is because of all of this I get incredibly angry when we are seen as a number on a league table, spend a year like I have and you’ll realise life is abut more than tables. I didn’t even look at them when I applied! I just wanted to be happy.

Now my first year is over I can say that despite some challenges and my decision to become a full field literature student, I’m happy. I’m so, so happy. I still find people giving me a look when I say where I study because they study somewhere more prestigious, blah, blah, blah. Oxford, Cambridge, UCL I know for a fact none of these places would have been right for me as a person. I’m more than just a brain in a tank. I love that my lecturers treat me as a person and arn’t too busy to have a chat when they have office hours. I love the fact that my tutor hasn’t given up on me despite some really bad anxiety this year.

Most of all I love the fact that I’ve been given a chance and a boost of ambition. I’ll finish my degree in 2 years and start my masters, which will hopefully be at Kingston. This is a post about uni pride because that’s what I feel so strongly. I’m not trying to recruit people (I’ve already done that at Open Day), this is just how proud I am of my uni. I honestly think Kingston has helped me so much in fighting my illness and boosting my confidence so far, for that I’ll always be grateful.