By Grace Hill
I remember it clear as a bell. The date was 16 March 2022. The time was around 3pm. I was on my bed going about a normal day with KISS FM on. Or at least that was what I thought until one particular artist came on. That might not sound like a big thing to most people… often when we have music on it is just to keep us entertained while we do something else like cleaning our rooms or studying. And that day I was no different. But when this particular artist came on KISS, I stopped and paid attention. Who was this and why did I understand what they were saying in their lyrics more and more every time I heard them? Curious, I looked into their story and found that they had devoted most of their life to their passion for the creative arts. This was something I related to massively having been passionate about KISS since the age of 5, and especially since I was getting very frustrated with myself for having no skill or interest in other areas like sport.
Since hearing that artist on KISS, a lot has happened. I have taken up writing to help me express what is in my head, as opposed to it just being something I enjoy, like it was when I was younger. I keep myself physically active by dancing (badly!) and I have aspirations to take this more seriously in the future. I guess the biggest change is that I now have a solid support network from across different generations, including friends of a similar age range to me who accept, maybe even like, all of my differences. From my anxiety about getting ready to go out, to my fits of dancing and smiling for no reason. But how have I reached this point? If my past self was sat beside me now, what would I tell her? The truth is I have learnt a lot over this last year. It has been, as the title of this newsletter says, a journey of acceptance and growth. Here are some pieces of advice I would give to my past self if I was helping her on the same journey again.