Hmm, this could be tricky as I genuinely don’t see a huge amount to be proud of.
I’ve done things that i’m proud of, such as raising money for charity, passing my Spanish exams in a Spanish school and not (completely) losing my mind, coming back and coping with things, passing challenges I set myself and the like but I don’t tend to be proud as a person, I mean, lots of people have done what I have done so it’s not like I’m special or anything.
I’m going to write a list of things i’ve done which i’m proud of, it might not be a comprehensive look but a good list of random stuff that makes me smile!
- Jumping out of a plane – with a tandem instructor and a parachute: this has been one of those things that I’d always wanted to do but the prohibitive price always putting me off. However, when Sir Terry Pratchett passed away, I decided to do as much fundraising for Alzheimer’s research as I could and my dad very kindly offered to pay for a jump so I could do the jump, raise some funds and not have to spend half of the money on the jump itself. I loved it, it was amazing, I felt magical and I came down with barely a bump having flown through a cloud, seen some amazing views and genuinely felt the epitome of joy.
- Surviving in a Spanish School: We lived in Spain from 1997 (when I was 14) and I went to a Spanish village school and despite having a handful of English friends, the majority of my time was spent talking in Spanish, thinking in Spanish, writing in Spanish and the like. I am really proud I did this (don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think I could) and it has now given me the knowledge that if I ever had to throw myself into something completely alien, I could manage it.
- Walking on Hot Coals: This is still one of my favourite things and every time I see that there is a fire walking event nearby I try to get involved. I love it. It is genuinely the one thing I think that I did, made me feel like a superhero and will stay with me forever.
- Breaking an arrow with my throat: As a precursor to walking on hot coals, the trainer wanted to show us that we are much stronger than sometimes our brain allows us to think. He took out a standard archery practise arrow and asked for a volunteer to hold a piece of wood. He placed the point of the arrow against his throat, and the fletching against the wood. He then stepped forward and whilst I thought he would skewer his own neck, the body is stronger than the wooden shaft of the arrow and it broke. I had to do it. I think he realised he had an adrenaline junkie on his hands and when I asked if I could do that, he was happy to oblige. I am so lucky because I kept the arrow and have always got that to refer to in case I doubt how amazing the human body and spirit is!
- I have raised money for charity: As above, I have done a fair few random things for charity. I have done a couple of rainbow/fun/5k runs recently but I am aiming to increase my distances sooner rather than later.
- I won’t say i’ve beaten it, but I’ve come through some fairly bad periods of depression and the fact that I’m still here is definitely something I should be proud of.
- I set myself a challenge at the beginning of the year and so far, it’s going really well. I decided to buy any Terry Pratchett Discworld books I find (in second hand shops, cheap on ebay that type of thing) and will advertise and send them out to people who need them in their collections. So far I’ve sent 78 books this year so that’s a lot of Discworld love happening right there!
I’m not sure I have that many other specific “moments”. I try to have pride in my life, make sure my friends and loved ones know I am here for them and I’m trying to make sure I can look back at the good things I have done. Long may it continue I hope!