Something that happens to us all, something we can’t control, something that just comes with living.

Some change is good, some is bad.

I still struggle with change, as I dislike the idea of moving away from the life my dad knew. However, I know others who after death change many aspects of their life – move hoScreen Shot 2017-03-31 at 14.35.57.pnguse, re-decorate, form new relationships, as they feel it’s necessary for them to move forwards. (I feel it is important to use the words move forwards instead of move on.) But it just proves how everyone deals with death differently.

I’m still learning this one as I find change in certain parts of my life very hard to cope with. Leaving school was a big one for me, something that was everyday became never. Sadly, I know what never feels like.

*Picture taken at my Sixth Form leaving prom 2016*

Part of me wants to be like Peter Pan and never grow up! But the other half naturally wants to go out, explore and LIVE! Two contradicting feelings.

Talk about it

University is the next big change in my life and i’ve recently had a crisis of confidence and panicked about the whole thing very prematurely!

But pulling on everything i’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the support and strength I have around me means I know I will be okay. I know I can always talk to them and that’s really important. Already, venting these feelings about uni to friends, family and this blog has made me feel a lot better.

(If something is really bothering you, I recommend writing it down or talking to someone, anyone or even anything, it just helps to put it out there, so it doesn’t become unmanageable.)

I’m starting to realise this ‘fear’ of change is normal and something I would be feeling even if my dad was alive. This is why talking to others is so important, I only came to realise this after someone said it’s natural to be apprehensive. I needed to hear that, like i’ve mentioned it helps so much to know you’re not alone. I also needed some perspective, this isn’t the end of the world and fortunately I have lots of options if it doesn’t go to plan. It was also kinda refreshing to have an emotion that wasn’t directly linked to my dad.

So, whilst I feel like the big changes in my life and even the exciting ones are overshadowed by the reminder of a former life, i’ve come to accept that moving forwards is inevitable. Coming to realise that has helped me process my grief even further.

University only became such a big obstacle because I was unwilling to accept that my dad was no longer a part of my life (in a physical way) and I struggle to say that out-loud. It’s incredibly hard to admit and even as I write this I can feel my grief monster start to crawl up my throat to my eyes, as they’re starting to well up.

Growin’ up

The ‘fear’ also comes from not knowing whether i’ll be able to cope. Talking to friend, we discussed what makes us happy (big topic, I know). My friend replied: “I don’t know yet, but that’s okay, i’m excited to find out.”

This really hit me, as much as it’s okay to be happy, it’s also okay not to be. Social media mainly shows the good side of things and I feel there is a societal pressure to be happy, but I like the idea of living to really find out! I already know it can be found in the smallest of things: time as a family, personal achievements, music, even photos and it’s great!

We talked about how ‘home’ can be many people’s retreat, my friend expressed her belief that you’ll never be truly happy and at one until you find ‘home’ within yourself.

To me, one the one hand, my ‘home’ is only considered safe because of the people I share it with, but it also made perfect sense. I imagined it like a snail or a crab, they’re always at home because they carry them on their backs. The same would apply to me if I could find that inner ‘safe place’.

This is something i’ve yet to learn and something i’ve been trying to learn since the age of 10, but I guess it’s called growing up – to have the ability and strength to deal most situations when out of a ‘home’ environment.

I think finding the balance between being okay on your own and needing the support of loved ones is called being an adult.

Though a small part of me had hoped to find this ‘safe’ place within me before I went to uni, I feel this will come when I actually go. University will be my big first step into adulthood, like it is for many others, in all walks of life.

I feel I need it, so I can face other big changes that are inevitable in my life. I need this, for me, and i’m excited to be able to face these challenges, because deep down I know I can.

This time, the change is good. (well… that’s what I keep telling myself…)

*I just wanted to clarify when I mention feeling ‘safe’ or not in certain places, I’m not actually unsafe and never have been. I’m talking about feeling safe in the sense of, I can relax, feel comfortable and be myself – a sense of ‘normality’. I’m not at risk and never have been.

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