Let’s raise awareness!

Hi everyone – long time no see!

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here. Once again, school seems to have taken over my life. Whilst my blog seems to be gaining readers, I’d love to take some time to say a rather belated Happy New Year. 2018 is going to be a wild one: this is a milestone year for me, and you can bet I’m making the most of it.

First and foremost, this is a year of beginnings and ends. Most prominently, I can finally wave goodbye to my years of dependence and become a fully-fledged adult. Woo!

I know, I’m laughing too.

At long last, I can say “so long” to the days of constant judgement for the occasional party I’ll pass out at, and my insufferable inability to see the hottest new movies classified “18” with my colleagues from the film store I work at. The day I turn 18 will be truly magical. Of course, the following day I will be facing my very first A-Level exam, so I guess I’ll have to save the pub-call for AFTER my finals.

Speaking of exams, later this year I will be saying adios to the school I have been at for 6 years, and hopefully trying my hand at an apprenticeship. I have already started applying, with my heart set on a production or journalism role somewhere which will allow me to get my message heard. Fingers crossed something will come up!

So, here’s the exciting part. My plan for 2018. I don’t tend to make New Years’ Resolutions; calling them that makes them all the more tempting to break. However, I do have a mountain of ideas and events going on this year, starting with a squad trip to the most magical place in the world. That’s right, I’m going to Disneyland.

This holiday – my first without my parents’ hawk eyes watching my every move – was partially inspired by Malia, Ashley and Zach Hayes, an incredible family of Disneyland vloggers who dedicate their lives to raising awareness for Alopecia. As I have talked about before, my history with Alopecia has really shaped who I am today, and so raising awareness of it is something that I am definitely going to focus on this year. I also plan on writing a whole load more – I’d love to try my hand at fictitious travel writing, and you can bet I’ll be trying that out at Disneyland.

Please take a moment to check out the Hayes’ YouTube channel and join them in spreading a message that is so dear to my heart:

10-10-16
Alopecia: The early days of my 2016 outbreak of hair loss.

 

In October 2016, I posted a blog about my experience with Alopecia which remains one of my favourites in my short blogging career. ‘Alopecia Gave Me a KILLER Undercut’ was a spur-of-the-moment act of caffeinated courage, and definitely something that boosted my confidence as a blogger with Alopecia. However, in that blog I made a promise that I never quite followed through with.

 

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I lost my left eyebrow the day before my first job interview.

 

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A still from my video: “Goodbye Hair, Hello Life”

 

“I’m going to be blogging my experiences as a student with Alopecia Areata, keeping you updated on my progress and anything that I learn during this phase of my condition.” 

Ha, is that so?

Past-Emily was a girl of a million ambitions (I guess not too different from myself now, really). The problem was, I never had the time to do everything I planned to do. I never published my first novel. I never single-handedly defeated discrimination. I definitely never wrote another Alopecia-related blog until December of that year, when I uploaded this gem to my old YouTube channel.

That was over a year ago. Since then, I really haven’t touched the topic – at least, not publicly. Behind the scenes, however, I have been planning a project which will hopefully shine a light on Alopecia. This project, part of my Arcadia campaign, will be launching this year – by representing characters with Alopecia in my work, I hope to take a big step in the normalisation of a condition that has truly changed who I am as a person. This will all start with a princess story I have been writing recently, inspired by Princess Malia herself, which will hopefully be available to read on my blog very soon!

More updates to come.

Thank you all for sticking with me over the past year. 2017 was a rough one, and I know I wasn’t as open as I’d like to be. This time last year, I was a mess. About a week today will mark the day I was rushed to A&E for my declining mental stability. I hurt so many people, not because I wanted to but because I thought they were the ones hurting me. At that point, I was in a relentless fight against my brain, my body, and my identity. I needed help.

12 months later, I feel brand new. Now I can introduce myself as Emily, the sixth form Language and Media student; the customer assistant at a music and film store near her home in the South East of England; the creator, aspiring to spark a career in professional storytelling; and, of course, the writer. I can’t wait to share the next 12 months of my own story with you, and to find out what 2018 has in store for us – together!

One thought on “Let’s raise awareness!

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