A year on from Pride of Reading. My experience.

DSCF1300On the 31st October 2015 it will be a year since I was invited and collected my award from the Pride of Reading awards. I’m going to start from the beginning because I still can’t believe this happened to me, I know I got a few comments from people about how they thought I didn’t deserve the award but then again that is their opinion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I’m still amazed by it, and I can’t quite believe it to be honest…

Last year at the start of October, my picture was put in the paper with the title “Victim of bullying who helps others”, I didn’t really understand how it worked, I knew my picture was going to be taken and I had a phone call from a nice women from the Get Reading paper, but I didn’t realise I’d be put it the paper. When my dad showed me the first thing I did was put it on social media (I mean how couldn’t I do that, I was so proud of myself). The response I got back was fantastic, I had so much support. At the start of 2014 I said that the best things are yet to happen to me, and when this happened I started to believe it a little more.

10626861_718676031533959_2736509708137344180_nTwo weeks after being put in the paper, I got a letter through the post saying that I had been put into the top 4 for the “Young Person of the Year”, once again I put it on social media (how couldn’t I). The support carried on being amazing, but also I started to get a lot more recognition at school which was great, people in my year knew that I had been nominated for the reward and I’m not going to lie, but I have never had so many people be that nice to me. It was surprising the amount of people that asked me about the bullying. There was the odd person that said that they didn’t think I should’ve been nominated because I didn’t deserve it because I apparently don’t help others, but that was fine, as I’ve said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however sometimes it’d be better if they thought it instead of said it out loud.

Two weeks after getting the letter saying I was invited to the Pride of Reading awards, it was time to actually go to the event. On that morning I was so nervous, I didn’t really understand how it worked or what would happen next. I didn’t know who would be there, it was unusual for me. Shout out to the ones that had sent me messages wishing me good luck before the event. When I got to the event, I didn’t realise how many people were going to be there, there must had been over 300 people there. Before going into the hall where the event was held, everyone that was going to attend was stood outside in a hall that was a little smaller than the hall that the ceremony was held in, everyone was talking to one another and the atmosphere was great. Words can’t describe how excited I was, one of my friends were with me because she had been put forward for a different award, so as soon as I realised I knew someone there I was so excited. My youth worker, the amazing lady that actually nominated me for the award, was there too. Sometimes people don’t realise how lucky they are to have the support that they do, but I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve ever had from my youth worker, friends, family and other people that have helped me. It really does mean a lot, a lot more to me than people understand.

1958531_725071077561121_7043317001205183893_nWhen the event started, we all got told to go into a big hall and sit at our tables. My dad came with me to Pride of Reading so I sat next to him on the table. The moment when I sat down next to a bunch of complete strangers was when I knew my shyness had gotten the better of me. I found it really difficult to start a 10473762_725070870894475_710762485445026511_nconversation. My dad started it, I found out that the guy sat next to me was called Neal, I also found out that most of the people on the table were apart of Jack FM. I’m not going to lie, I find it really difficult to talk to new people, but the moment we started a conversation about superheroes I had got my confidence back. We were talking about bullying, my little brother, superheroes and school in general. Sitting on the same table with such lovely people had to be one of the best things about the night.

After a while the event started, Chris Tarrant started talking, there was a meal (Which was sooo nice!!) – it gave me more chance to talk to the people on the table we were sat at. Then the awards were starting to be given out. All of the stories that were told about the people that got their awards were so inspiring. There were also a few different acts that were singing, it was great!

Near to the end of the event, I realised that Neal (the guy that was sat next to me) was on stage and not sat next to me, I didn’t IMG_20141031_215939really realise that he had moved. He started talking about a young girl who was a victim of bullying, and I had no idea who he was talking about, I guess that’s how amazed I was by the whole event. He started talking about how the girl had an autistic brother and how she uses her own experiences to help others, no word of a lie, I still had no clue who he was talking about.

Then my name was called and music started playing. Thinking about it now it’s so funny how I reacted. I stood up and didn’t really know where to go, but everyone was clapping, I guess I was shocked, there wasn’t anyone left sitting. One of the ladies that were sat at the table before were waiting to walk me onto the stage, I guess she saw that I was shocked because she asked if I was okay. As we were walking past all the different tables to the people that were sat on the tables all said well done and congratulations.

Thinking back to it I remember how dizzy I felt, I thought I was going to faint in front of everyone, I was so amazed and so shocked that I didn’t really take into account what I was doing, while walking up to the stage I nearly missed the step to get onto the stage (How embarrassing – Probably shouldn’t have mentioned that in this post – Whoops – Oh well!). I remember Neal talking to me and I remember him saying, “Alison wait one second, we have something to show you”, and then there was a video playing. It was 10440870_727301427338086_5867843746444024257_na video of Robin Banks talking (Part of Jack FM). Thinking back to watching the video on the stage, all I can remember from the video was that he said I was an inspiration and that I’m part of what makes Reading a great place. I was amazed!

JS49857955After that I got walked over to Chris Tarrant, where I was given my award and a pot of white roses. We had a picture taken which was put in the paper a few days later. Then I was told to walk to the back of the room where there was a door, the same lady that led me to the stage walked me through the doors. I was greeted by a few different radio stations, not all at once but as we went down the corridor, each different person either had a notebook or a camera or a microphone and I was asked loads of different questions. At this point I was over the moon, so happy, so excited. Then we went into a smaller room where there was a lady with a notebook who asked me loads of different questions. I was still so shocked and amazed.

When I finished talking to the lady, I was walked back to the table I was sat at. We watched the rest of the awards being given out. The people at Jack FM gave me a kindle because they knew that I’m a bookworm. When leaving the massive hall, we all went in the smaller hall to have drinks from the bar in the hall. I have never been congratulated that much, everyone was so nice.

The support I got on social media that night was mad, I was so happy with the amount of support I got, there was massive amounts of support from loads of people months after Pride of Reading, and I still have a massive amount of support now from a lot of people.

Shout out to those who have been supportive from day 1, also a massive shout out to Jack FM, Get Reading and all the people that congratulated me at Pride of Reading and gave me so much support since the event! I would also like to thank the youth workers and volunteers that I work with, I learn a lot from them, they are great role models, I hope to be able to do their job as well as they do. I would like to name them but I’m not allowed to, they know who they are. I see the great difference they make in people’s lives. I would also like to thank the children that are giving me the experience doing what I want to do after my education, not that anyone should ever give up the opportunity to learn and better their lives.

I never thought I’d be where I am today, I didn’t think it was possible. Just wanted to say another thank you for the support, and thank you for reading! Much love – Alison xx

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Here’s a little thought…

If you don’t like what your doing in life and where your at, change it. If you do like where your at, awesome. If you don’t like your personality, change it. If you don’t like what you wear, change it. If you don’t like the people you hang around with or the way they treat you, then change it. If you don’t like your attitude then change it. If you think your going to get bad grades at school because of some sort of reason then change it. Aspire to change what doesn’t make you happy.

It’s your life and you can change what you want about it (To a certain extent). I’ve learnt after a long period of time, that if I want to change something happening in my life then I need to be the one to do it, not many people realise it but that is what needs to happen. If you don’t like something, the best thing to do is change it. Why spend years of your life being unhappy if all you need to do is change something little in your life. It’s simple really…

I hate it when I hear people complain about how if they did something different they could be much happier. If you know your not doing something right or you know you need to change something to get better, why don’t you? I mean I know it may be difficult to start with but once you’ve got the hang of something then you are bound to succeed.

Think positively, honestly, there is no doubt about it, if you try your best to change something and you succeed then you’ll be happier.

At the start of this school year, I wanted to change how I felt at school, I’m getting there slowly, if you try to change something and work hard to change how you feel then eventually you will get to where you want to be.

Just believe in yourself and move forward to succeed. Hope everyone is having a good week! Keep smiling, keep trying and you’ll succeed. Much love Smile – Alison xx

My dreams

When I was little I use to have this dream of being a princess but then thought about how life would be, it must be kind of boring being a princess, don’t get me wrong, being able to wear expensive clothes and having so much power sounds great, but you can’t take risks, I mean when have you ever heard of a princess saving people out of a fire, or racing cars at a stupidly fast speed? You haven’t, or if you have then please tell me because that would be awesome to read about!!

When I was about 6 years old, I wanted to be a race car driver, so I’d be able to race in all the big race competitions and win trophies that were half the size of me, but then I realised that I wouldn’t be able to do that as I’ve never seen a female racer on TV. When I was about 7, I wanted to be a ballerina so I joined a class but eventually stopped because I didn’t think it was that fun. When I was about 8,  my dream was to be a firemen (I don’t know if there is a different term for women or not) but then I realised I didn’t really like standing next to a hot cooker so how could I possibly be a firemen?

When I was 10, I really liked Beyoncé, I dreamed about selling out stadiums and being the idol and inspiration to thousands of people, but then realised I sound like a cat being strangled when I sing, so maybe it’s best to keep the singing for in the shower. When I was 12, I wanted to be a author, it would still be an awesome idea to write a book and have loads of people read it – to have loads of people be interested in what I’m writing. At the time I was a bookworm – I still am – that’s probably why I wanted to do it but I don’t think I could ever write a book, I’d have no idea what to write about and it would never get published anyway.

When I was 13, my role model was my youth worker, I really looked up to her, I still do. I decided that when I was older I wanted to take care of children, that’s still my dream. I love helping people and looking after children, I volunteer at two different groups twice a week to help out with children. It’s so much fun, I love knowing that I can make them smile and laugh. At each age I have had a different dream, but that is my dream now, that’s all I want to do, look after children. I want to be a role model and inspire people. It makes me feel great to know that I inspire people.

A lot of people have told me over the past 2 years that I need to be more realistic with what I want to be when I finish school, but I don’t think I need to be anymore realistic than I already have been. If I work to get what I want to achieve, I’ll be able to do it, it is possible. Just because someone says something isn’t possible doesn’t mean that it’s true, if you work for what you want, it will be easy to achieve. Whatever your dream is, don’t give up, even if people say you won’t be able to do it, don’t give up! I’ve been told plenty of times I won’t be able to do something but if I believed them then I wouldn’t be where I am today, so don’t listen to people that spread negativity because they’re just going to put you down, and you don’t need that in life!

Keep smiling Smile – Alison xx

Defining myself as a person.

I am not the horrible words you call me. Yes, that is your opinion of me (You are entitled to your opinion, of course you are.)  but you don’t know me, you know my name and that is it. How can you sit there and call someone horrible names to the point where that person doesn’t want to come to school the next day just because they know they’ll get the same thing the very next day. How can you do that to someone and be okay with what you are doing? It’s horrible.

After finishing my exams I started to get myself to a good point, I finally accepted myself for who I am. Over the summer and the past few weeks I have been so happy because of this, it’s taken me so long to try to accept myself. Bullying has made it difficult for me to accept myself for who I am and as I finally do it someone wants to ruin it for me. But why should you be able to ruin this for me? What right do you have to do that?

I’m happy with who I am and I don’t need the fat jokes or comments following me around school or on the way home. At first it was just one person but ‘cause I ignored it you think it’s okay to get your mates to join in as well? How horrible can someone get? I don’t even know you, I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong to deserve this and I’ve been thinking about it and asking my friends, I don’t deserve it. To you it’s a joke but I for one am not a joke and I’m not putting up with it.

I decided I’d be a individual and change the way my hair was, that’s what started this and at first I really did not care but then because I wasn’t listening and I was ignoring it, of course, the fat jokes and comments had to be included. Take the micky out of her hair, doesn’t work, dammit. Bully her about her weight, oh wait, she’s getting upset, let’s do it some more. There is no logic to that. Obviously if I didn’t like it when you were taking the micky out of my hair how am I going to be okay with you making jokes about my weight? Oh wait, I’m not, that’s why your doing it. It’s pathetic. I’ve came to realise if I was a bully and done to people what they did to me then they would want me to stop and most likely wouldn’t bully anyone again. But why would I do that when I know what it feels like? I wouldn’t.

Okay, I’m sorry, I’ve gone off on a bit of a rant about this. The whole point of this post was to define myself. Okay…So if I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t see a ugly or fat person anymore, not like I used to, I just see me. I try to be the kindest I can be to anyone that will take my kindness, I try to spread happiness to those who need it. I don’t understand how someone can sit there and say that a person is fat or ugly, being honest I don’t think anyone is ugly, people know what kind of person they are attracted to but someone’s view of beauty can be someone else’s view of ugly and that is what I find absolutely ridiculous. I mean, if you don’t think someone is attractive keep it to yourself, don’t spread hate, you have no idea what that person is going through, you don’t have the right to make someone feel worthless. I also don’t think that anyone is fat, their just “big boned” – (I used to get told that that’s what I was all the time) – How skinny is too skinny and how big is too big? Now I know I’m going to get a remark about that question but who is it for you to decide who is fat and who is ugly?

Being honest with myself, I know I’m “big boned” but if you really knew me, does my size matter? I don’t know about you but when I started making friends, I didn’t care about what they looked like, if they were a nice person and had something in common with me then we made friends. Practically all my friendships happened like that, I started talking to someone, realised we liked the same band or something, figured they were a nice person and BOOM, that is how I made friends with people, still is. Why can’t other people do that, instead of just making friends with some people and then being horrible to the ones that aren’t their friends just because you think their ugly or fat…If you can’t tell by now, this issue really bothers me…

I’ve defined myself. I then asked a few of my friends to give me a sentence or a word that defines me, but only one sentence, no more than one. This is what happened… Honestly, I didn’t realise that is what they thought of me, it makes me so happy thinking that.

“Funny, smart, bright, you always make people laugh” – Bethany

“One sentence can’t describe how wonderful you are but I’ll use these three words instead; beautiful, unique and perfect xoxo.” – Callie

“Your funny” – Georgina

“Bright, funny, energetic, and always has time for people to talk” – Sam

“A unique human who devotes her time to others a fallen angel who I can trust and depend on you are not a friend but family” – Chloe

“A great friend that is there for you if and when you need her.” – Bradley

“I think you’re beautiful, kind-hearted and thoughtful” – Angel

“A bubbly, loud and fun person who is a great laugh; but if you need someone to talk to about serious stuff, she’s always that person too.” – Maddy

“A beautiful person all round who could brighten anyone’s day regardless.” – Ruth.

“You can’t be explained in one sentence, I need more than one sentence.” – Jake.

“Your a beautiful, caring, compassionate, wonderful, amazing, joyful specimen, that I love very much.” – Bethany.

“Your a bubbly chocolate bar, but with some cracks in it. This is a metaphorical sentence representing you. The chocolate could heal it’s cracks but doesn’t know how to. But then again chocolate doesn’t do that unless it melts and then hardens again. The cracks represent pain, the melting and hardening do justice for the chocolate bar.” – Liam. Now I know this is more than one sentence, he actually just said I was a bubbly chocolate bar but I didn’t understand what he meant by that so we talked about it until I understood it and this is what we came up with.

So my question to the boys that think it is okay to call me fat is: If you really don’t know me, how can you define me as fat or ugly when my friends think different. It’s about personality not appearance, take notes.

Thanks for reading, I would say I’m sorry for kind of having a rant about this issue of mine but then again I’m not sorry at all. A weight has been lifted from my shoulders. If you have an opinion on this issue then email: myinsanewxnderland@gmail.com or tweet me (@pink_duck1) or comment on Facebook. Have a good rest of your week, keep smiling! Smile – Alison xx

Wise words from a friend…

Not long ago I was talking to one of my best friends about bullying, usually I don’t talk to him about bullying in person because the day is usually really good when I see him but it was different. During that day someone had said something really horrible to me and it got to me, him being who he is was there for me like he always is. We started talking about what happened but ended up talking about bullying in general. The past was brought up and I ended up talking to him for a hour about it. He didn’t say what everyone else usually says, “ignore it”. In fact we were talking about when I used to get pushed down and he said something very interesting to me, it’s been stuck in my head for ages. He said, “See you’ve been pushed down, you just need to get yourself back up, you’re still down now, you just need to get back up. I think you can do it, it’ll all be better soon.” When people say things to me like that it really sticks and I’m really grateful for the ones that do say things like this. He knows who he is.

The point of this post was to tell people that even though their going through a tough time, I promise it does get better. I know when my friends say that to me I don’t really listen and I think it’s the end of the world but I’m starting to believe myself that when something goes wrong it does get better because its the truth. It’s just a bump in the road. All you have to do is get back up again. Show them bullies who’s boss and don’t let them see that they are hurting you, good luck!

Hope this helps –Alison xx