One year ago, I started a new life.
I moved away from my childhood home and town to the other side of the country, and hoped to finally make something good out of my life, to feel happiness again and fully able to achieve what I wanted.
Looking back, I am so so proud of myself for making the move; despite the circumstances that surrounded the move and how stressful it was and how at the time I felt I had let my work down because I was too focused on getting a bed instead of replying to comments, I don’t think for one second I could have lived my old life any longer.
Some things are still the same: most of my time is spent at home working however I have an office, which is fab (I have a spinny chair too which is much more comfortable than one about the snap at its hinges). Some things have changed: I finally started my photography business and work with people I admire, all whilst coming up with new ideas to make my work better and stretch further. Also my hair grew around 6 inches which is a miracle, thank you Lee Stafford!
The opportunity I had to even do this, with the support of my family and the close connection of my friends, is a privilege; that I can freely move as I choose, create a business and career for myself, to feel safe in my choices but know that even if the worst happened I could still survive. But after recent events, I have never been more aware of how quickly your freedom can be diminished.
I wrote a whole long post about my feelings on the election, and whilst I understand people use blogs and YouTube as escapism and light relief, there still needs to be discussion; I have never in my life voiced a strong opinion (other than that David Tennant is the best Doctor and divulged into why Steven Moffatt ruined Doctor Who because lore and history.)
You know what, that might be a pretty good analogy – for every show there is a head writer, and the head writer when rebooting or taking on a series has a a mammoth task; they have to give the show new life and direction all whilst honouring its history. They have to take what makes it work and good for the people, and also add their own touch to it – their policies almost, the things they want to achieve – and make sure they have the right person for each role who can make the show run successfully and express the right message. For 5 years this person is in charge, and the main character changes often but it is always done with thought and progression, and the main character helps unite audiences and characters, bringing with it success and happiness and a lot of accolades too.
And then, it’s time to leave.
You’ve done your best, you want to leave whilst it is still good and you can be remembered well, so you find a replacement – someone who has interest in running the show, can write well and is a fan favourite; maybe they are a writer with the best words, know lots of words and lots of drama, and people have seen their work before and think ‘YEAH that person is ace, they write all the best episodes, even the scary ones, he’ll be great!’
And then he comes along and he decides to make the show his own, except he’s really going to make sure every single tie with the past is cut. And there’s no way to change it. It’s locked in, no clever story of how humanity comes together, its more selfish and inward – the stories are his playground fantasies come to life except there’s no clear plot, no guide, no real message except They are bad and I am good and I will fight whoever does me wrong. This goes on for another 5 years, and people lose faith and those who join in during his term accept that this is how television and writing is, that this is how history and progress is made – stories without substance and emotion. And when the time comes for the head writer to leave (because he’s been working on another show during that time which he is better suited for and a better writer at) you’re left with a legacy so contrasting and so far from the original truth that what seems like progression is more a mix of crazy ideas with a sprinkle of what was crafted over decades dumped on the cutting room floor for someone else to deal with.
I was supposed to be telling you that I’ve never had a strong opinion, but as you can see, I have. And since my personal reaction to the recent election, I can tell I’m going to be having more strong opinions. If one thing has stayed the same the last year, my whole life, it’s not using my voice and being afraid to speak out, and that stops now.
I want to support women, LGBTQ+, black and all of those classed as a minority any way I can, to understand more about the issues important to them and also about politics – what is going on in the world? How does it affect myself and others? How can I make my voice heard?
I want my sister to grow up knowing she can do anything and that sexism isn’t ‘normal’, that she can be a CEO, a mother, Prime Minister or President and no one would question her. That she can be educated without discrimination, and that other girls across the world can have the same privilege.
I want to make sure I can do everything I can to support those close to me and those far away, and I want to look back again in a year and feel even more pride in myself for trying to do so.
Because if you want something to change, be it moving to a new place to realise your dreams or listening to what goes on in the world, you need to be the change.
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