• Katie Heyes

My July Journey: Day 8 - The Best Month of My Life & Bouncing Back

When we reach our lowest point, it’s very difficult to see a way out. We are all human and each of us have our own challenges and difficult moments. Often we let it emotionally consume us and in that moment you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. But it’s how we bounce back that truly defines how strong you are. Although your low point may seem overwhelming, the best part about it is it’s only temporary and by finding ways to get through it no matter how big or small is one of the greatest things you can do for recovery.

For me, it’s always been reflecting on past memories with friends and family.

This term threw a lot of challenges my way and it led me to one of my lowest points. It took me to a dark place in my life that I was scared I couldn’t get out of. But by reflecting on happier memories, they helped me find that passion for life again. Suddenly I was transported back to when my current insecurities were non-existent, and the happy memories gradually helped ease the pain I was feeling if only for a moment. I’d thought I’d share these memories with you today as this experience has made me treasure this month more than ever.

So here’s a brief overview (as brief as I can make it!) as to why December 2018 was the best month of my life.

- My 19th Birthday Party and Night Out - I’d always wanted to through a big party for a while now. When I turned 18 I was really struggling mentally at the time so I wasn't in any celebratory mood. But since then so much has changed. Whilst I’ve lost many people who I thought were my closest mates which did break my heart, so many friendships have grown and been solidified since then and I’ve never been more grateful for all the support they have shown me last year. It really proved to me just how lucky I am to have amazing people in my life making me feel so special so I wanted to properly celebrate that with everyone. It was lovely having everyone I love and treasure so dearly in one room, with my favourite tunes on in the background. Followed by my first proper experience of Liverpool night life. I had only been for a night out in Liverpool once or twice before this and I never really properly experienced all of the clubs or knew which ones were the place to be so to speak. So I was up for all the recommendations I could get when we left the party venue. It was then when a friend recommended Popworld – it didn’t take long for it to become my favourite club! Anyone who knows me knows 90’s pop hits are my go to genre of choice. Vengaboys, Steps, Spice Girls, Abba… I could listen to all these bands on the daily without ever tiring of them. So this club was right up my street. Everyone there was so friendly, it was actually surprisingly spacious whilst still having that lively atmosphere that is essential for any club, and of course all the songs were bangers! Whilst its very animated and cheesy atmosphere might not be everyone’s cup of tea; this club and being in the company of absolutely wonderful people easily made this the best night of my life.

- Family Meal – So luckily I wasn’t too hungover the following day (surprising considering the amount of gin I got through) which meant even more celebrations! This was my actual birth date so my family decided to take me out for a meal at one of our local pubs. We’ve always loved our home town pubs for their nice welcoming atmosphere and of course can never go wrong with traditional pub grub. Also with me living out for Uni, I treasure family time now more than ever, so having little get-togethers like this really means so much. Especially with my birthday tying in with the holiday season, it’s a time to reflect on where we come from and how much we owe to the people in our lives who’ve helped us grow and get where we are today. And whilst this may sound cheesy I really am grateful and whilst these get-togethers are less frequent that doesn’t make them any less special.

- Day Out to London – As mentioned previously, I have a great love for Ballet and the performing arts. And for me, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the Nutcracker. Being oneof the most famous ballets of all time; even if you are not part of the ballet world, you would have lived a pretty sheltered life if you haven’t heard some of Tchaikovsky’s memorable and beautiful tracks of music. The enchanting melodies alongside the graceful and elegant dancing – it truly makes it the perfect addition to the festive season. Every year I always manage to squeeze in a performance to fill me with that and this year was no exception. Just in time for New Year, me and my mum booked tickets to see the Ballet performed at the Royal Albert Hall. And let me tell you, it was truly magical. We managed to get seats extremely near the front and it was honestly perfect for getting lost in the wonder and enchanting quality of the Ballet, but even if we didn’t get those seats. The venue is so grand and spacious that you’ll never struggle to get a decent view of the beautiful performance as well the theatre itself carrying that grand and magnificent quality. As we have relatives in London, we took advantage of the day trip to squeeze in another family reunion. We had a lovely walk around the shops, taking advantage of the New Year Sales and lovely sights London has to offer and getting to visit this beautiful Parisienne themed restaurant which food so delicious that its making my mouth water just thinking about it. There was still a pervasive festive atmosphere lurking around the shops with all the Christmas street decorations still up and with there still being numerous charming market stalls. All put together made it the perfect Christmas treat.

Just writing about this and getting to reflect on all these lovely memories, has put a huge smile on my face which is just making me wonder why I don’t think of this more often. What today’s post has taught me is that yes sad unpleasant memories can feel all-consuming and you can feel like it’s all too much, but a lot of people forget one thing…happy memories can be just as powerful. When you go through those tough times, the precious memories you hold dear with loved ones become even more cherished and no matter how much your life may change in the upcoming years, months or even days, they are so important to hold on to. Getting to experience (even if only for a few seconds) that brief moment of happiness can be enough of an escapism to get you away from a dark place. This past month has been difficult for me. A lot of personal issues and situations have made me lose confidence and happiness in myself and there have been times when I have entered into a bad frame of mind that I struggle to get out of. But moments like this give me that will and that determination to carry on despite how abysmal the current situation may be and I will always be grateful for the amazing people I have in my life right now and the lovely memories we have shared together! If any of you are reading this now, then I just wanted to say thank you all so much! You really don’t know how much it means to me!

- Katie x

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